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Pretrial detainee dies at Nashua Street Jail

Attempts to rescuscitate fail

A pretrial detainee was found dead early Sunday morning in the Nashua Street Jail in Boston’s West End, authorities said.

A corrections officer found the man apparently sleeping “in what appeared to be an awkward position” during regularly scheduled rounds at about 2:30 a.m., according to a statement released by Peter Van Delft, spokesman for Suffolk County Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins, who oversees the jail.

The officer could not rouse the unresponsive detainee, Van Delft said in the statement, then alerted an emergency medical response team and began performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation.

Boston Emergency Medical Services arrived and pronounced the man dead at about 2:55 a.m., Van Delft said.

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The man was not identified pending notification of his family, Jake Wark, a spokesman for Suffolk District Attorney Daniel F. Conley, said in an e-mail.

The cause and manner of death were unknown as of Sunday afternoon but were expected to be revealed by an autopsy, Wark said.

Boston police are assisting in the death investigation, Officer Nicole Grant, a police spokeswoman, said by phone.

The jail has been the site of high-profile detainee deaths in the past. In August 2010, Philip Markoff, the alleged Craigslist killer, committed suicide while awaiting trial on charges of fatally shooting a masseuse in a Back Bay hotel.

Less than six months before Markoff’s death, Wigberto Sanchez, charged with being an accessory to the fatal shooting of a Fall River man, was found dead in his Nashua Street cell. An investigation determined that a medical condition caused Sanchez’s death, Wark said.

Andrea J. Cabral, currently the state’s secretary of public safety, was Suffolk County sheriff at the time of the Sanchez and Markoff deaths.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.