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County Officials Remain Mum on Death in Psychiatric Facility

46-year-old Santa Maria man died in unit; cause of death pending

A Santa Maria man died last month at Santa Barbara County’s Psychiatric Health Facility, which is operated by the Department of Alcohol, Drug and Mental Health Services.

Sheriff’s Department officials have confirmed for Noozhawk that Clifford Detty, 46, of Santa Maria, died at 1:45 a.m. April 29 in the PHF unit, 315 Camino del Remedio in Santa Barbara. He was transported to the facility by Santa Maria police, but details surrounding his death are still unclear.

Sheriff’s spokesman Drew Sugars said last week that the department is awaiting Detty’s final toxicity screens, which will reveal the exact cause of death. Sugars said the results should be available within a few weeks. In the meantime, “we are investigating the manner and mode of death,” he said.

Noozhawk reached ADMHS executive director Ann Detrick on Thursday, but she said she could not release any information on the matter at this time.

The PHF facility where Detty died is a 16-bed compound and is the only place in the county for involuntary patients, defined as individuals who present a danger to others or themselves as a result of a mental illness.

Detty’s own obituary states that he died suddenly in “a Santa Barbara hospital” the night of April 29, but doesn’t go into specifics.

According to the obituary, Detty graduated from Santa Maria’s Righetti High School and attended Allan Hancock College and SBCC. It described him as an athlete and surfer who loved the outdoors and as a man who “did everything to the extreme and kept his parents breathless many times.”

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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