News From Terre Haute, Indiana

December 4, 2012

Clark County inmate dies of asphyxiation

Staff Writer
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — An Illinois jail inmate who was found dead in his cell Saturday died as the result of asphyxiation caused by suicide, the coroner stated early Monday evening.

Shannon Patten, 43, of Tolono, Ill., was found dead when officers conducted a routine cell check of the jail.

An autopsy was conducted Monday at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.

“He hung himself,” said Clark County coroner Jeff Pearce. “Foul play has been ruled out.”

He declined to give further details because of the possibility of litigation.

Illinois State Police are investigating the death “to make sure everything was done properly,” Pearce said. State police are taking jail video footage and all the logs, and they processed the scene, he said.

The sheriff’s department “had no part in the investigation” because that would be a conflict of interest, Pearce said.