A 38-year-old Santa Maria man was declared dead after an apparent suicide while in custody at the Santa Barbara County Jail Sunday evening, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Hector Higareda was found unresponsive inside his cell shortly after 4:30 p.m., sheriff’s department spokeswoman Kelly Hoover said.
Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s custody deputies, jail medical staff and Santa Barbara County Fire paramedics started life-saving measures, Hoover said, but Higareda was declared deceased at 5:22 p.m.
An investigation is being conducted by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office to determine an official cause of death.
A final determination is pending toxicology and lab results, she said.
Higareda was being held in jail on charges related to a domestic dispute, Hoover said.
“He was in a single person cell. Due to the active investigation we are not able to comment further,” she said.
He was arrested on June 18 and was serving a 365-day sentence for a charge of false imprisonment, with a scheduled release date of Dec. 9, Hoover said.
— Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.