Investigating and getting to the roots of inmate deaths in Missouri prisons is almost impossible. This is because of the shroud of mystery surrounding every death incident.
Missouri Inmate Michael Lorenzo King: 2011
And the fact that local police are not always called in to investigate prison deaths – the prison authorities do their own internal investigations. This development has caused worry to families of deceased prison inmates who lack all the information to determine how their incarcerated loved ones died.
A case in point is that of 25-year-old Michael Lorenzo King who lost his life under bizarre circumstances at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center on March 23, 2011.
Preliminary investigations revealed a squad of prison officers subdued King and restrained him before moving him to another cell. But by the time King was placed in the other cell, he was unresponsive.
Inmate Michael Lorenzo King was later pronounced dead. He is just one of numerous suspicious inmate deaths in Missouri prisons.
DOC Won’t Discuss Details of Inmate Deaths in Missouri Prisons
No videos of what transpired with King were ever released and no real information would be released with his prison death. His family and mother tried in vain to glean information of what led to King’s death but met with brick walls.
The inmate’s death certificate indicated he died of excited delirium syndrome. But civil libertarians say this couldn’t have been the case with him.
The Missouri Department of Corrections does not enjoy good standing with the general public when it comes to inmates’ conditions. They also clamped up when inquiries were made concerning King’s death.
Agency spokeswoman Karen Pojmann wrote:
“The original report includes protected security, personnel and offender medical information that can’t be disclosed, so we’re unable to go into great detail.”
34 Mysterious Inmate Deaths in Missouri Prisons Leads to Outside Investigators
Another recent inmate’s death has been one of the 34 mysteriously inconclusive ones at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center, 60 miles south of St. Louis. It’s the prison death of 47-year-old Michael James Jerden.
His cell did not have a door and his neck was found slit as he lay dead in his cell. Prison authorities said he may have committed suicide. But, no suicide weapon was ever found.
Jerden’s family also keeps asking questions regarding his prison death. Authorities are not forthcoming with anything useful.
These are just some of the many unresolved inmate deaths in Missouri prisons. Missouri DOC announced that it will be inviting local police to help with investigating prison deaths.
But, Bonne Terre Police Chief Douglas Calvert said his department has not been invited yet to help with any Missouri prison death investigations.