Central jail in downtown San Diego
The central jail in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A 59-year-old inmate died Wednesday morning inside his cell at the downtown San Diego Central Jail, authorities said.

Deputies at the jail saw the inmate having breathing problems inside his cell around 3 a.m., San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. Rich Williams said. Though he did not appear injured, he became unresponsive as deputies entered his cell to render aid.

The jail personnel began giving the stricken inmate CPR, but he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead just after 3:40 a.m., Williams said. The inmate’s name was withheld pending family notification.

By order of a judge, the inmate who died was in custody for treatment of a severe mental health disorder as a condition of parole or release from prison, according to the sheriff’s department.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death.

–City News Service