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

An inmate who died last winter at San Diego Central Jail choked to death while under the influence of an illegal drug, authorities reported Thursday.

Omar Arroyo Moreno, 33, was found passed out in his cell at the Front Street detention center about 10:45 p.m. Jan. 6.

He had arrived at the center hours earlier, after his arrest on suspicion of being under the influence of a controlled substance and possession of narcotics paraphernalia, according to sheriff’s officials.

Jail personnel tried to revive Moreno prior to the arrival of paramedics, who took over before pronouncing him dead at the scene, Lt. Thomas Seiver said.

Homicide detectives investigated, as is standard in cases of in-custody fatalities, and found no evidence of criminal involvement in Moreno’s death, Seiver said.

Following an autopsy, the county Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Moreno died from accidental asphyxiation. Officials listed acute methamphetamine intoxication as a contributing factor.