A Panamanian national, who was being held at the U.S. Immigration and Customs’ Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, died early Monday after he was found unresponsive in his cell.
The preliminary cause of death for Jean Jimenez-Joseph, 27, was ruled to be self-inflicted strangulation.
While performing a scheduled monitoring, Stewart staff members discovered Jimenez-Joseph unresponsive in his cell with a sheet around his neck about 12:45 a.m. Monday, according to an ICE press release. He was later pronounced dead at Phoebe Sumter Medical Center in Americus.
An agency-wide investigation is being conducted by ICE senior leadership.
Jimenez-Joseph was taken into ICE custody March 2 in Wake County, North Carolina, pursuant to an ICE immigration detainer. This followed his release from local law enforcement custody after a Jan. 5 felony conviction for larceny of a motor vehicle.
He was in immigration removal proceedings at the time of his death.
According to the press release, Jimenez-Joseph is the seventh person to die in ICE custody in fiscal year 2017 and the first death of a detainee at the Stewart Detention Center in more than eight years.