Inmate Suicide



Forty-six-year-old Jose Fernandez-Moreno, the inmate found unconscious inside the Humboldt County jail last Friday, March 8, with a bed sheet tied around his neck, died yesterday at St. Joseph's Hospital. (See Sheriff's news release, below).

This is the second suicide (and second death) at the jail this year. On Jan. 17, a 56-year-old male inmate jumped to his death inside the housing unit.

There were two in-custody deaths last year in the jail, says Sheriff's Sgt. Duane Christian. One was deemed to be from medical complications; the other has not been declared yet, said Christian, because the coroner's office has not released an official report yet.

Since 2000, 16 inmates have died at the jail.

The latest suicide is still being investigated.

News release:


On Friday March 08, 2013 at about 7:00 p.m. a Humboldt County Correctional Officer, while on a routine security check within a housing unit, found inmate Jose Fernandez-Moreno, a 46 year old male, unconscious with a bed sheet tied around his neck. Correctional Officers and facility medical staff immediately began life saving efforts which resulted in successfully regaining a pulse.  Personnel from the Eureka Fire Department and City Ambulance responded and assisted in transporting Fernandez-Moreno to St. Joseph's Hospital where he was admitted. Fernandez-Moreno was placed on life support after his condition worsened. 
On Monday March 11, 2013 at 6:23 pm Fernandez-Moreno died as a result of his suicide attempt.
Humboldt County Sheriff's Detectives are continuing their involvement in the investigation which has been turned over to the Humboldt County Coroners Office.  An autopsy date is pending. Fernando-Moreno was in custody on charges of Assault with Intent to Commit Rape, Rape by Force/Violence/Duress, and Penetration by Foreign Object, his bail was set at $250,000.  Fernandez-Moreno was also being held on a detainer issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Mike Downey, Sheriff

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