Tribune-Star staff report
An autopsy has determined suicide was the cause of death for an inmate in the Parke County Jail early Tuesday morning.
Dead is Jeffery M. Stevens, 49, of Terre Haute, who had been in a locked cell by himself and had self-inflicted wounds, according to a news release, from Justin Cole, Parke County sheriff. “He left a letter,” Cole said.
The investigation is “basically done,” Cole said, although investigators were still talking to people to see if Stevens might have told anyone about his intentions.
Parke EMS and the Parke County Coroner’s office assisted at the scene.
The jail is housing 80 inmates, and it has 90 beds.
The autopsy was performed at Terre Haute Regional Hospital.
Stevens was arrested in Terre Haute in January on charges that included manufacturing/dealing methamphetamine and possession of methamphetamine. He was being housed in the Parke County Jail because of overcrowding at the Vigo County jail.
The death investigation began at 3:30 a.m. Tuesday. A jailer had done a walk through at 2:35 a.m. and everything appeared normal, Cole said. The jailer had spoken to Stevens.
Jailers physically check on inmates every hour, and “it seemed like everything was followed close to standard procedures,” Cole said.
The jail has surveillance cameras in cell blocks.
Some new surveillance cameras were added last week, and while one did point toward the inmate’s cell, it pointed just below the window. “We’ve adjusted them today to pick up the windows,” he said.
Using a grant, the jail is replacing its older, black and white cameras with ones that are high resolution.