COQUILLE - An inmate who was found unresponsive Sunday morning, Dec. 3, at the Coos County Jail later died en route to a hospital, according to a press release from Coos County District Attorney Paul Frasier.
At approximately 5:27 a.m., the body of 42-year-old Rocky Alan Stewart, of Bandon, was found unresponsive in his cell, according to Frasier. Medical personnel responded and, despite life-saving measures, died en route to Coquille Valley Hospital, according to Frasier. It was unknown what caused Stewart's death Sunday night. He was arrested Saturday night in Bandon on an assault charge following a domestic disturbance at a residence located south of Bandon.
According to Frasier, Stewart had been involved with a fight with another family member. That family member was treated at Southern Coos Hospital and released following treatment for his injuries. Stewart also sustained minor injuries in the fight but refused medical treatment, according to Frasier's release.
"At this time it is unknown why Mr. Stewart died," the release said. "The Coos County Medical Examiner has done an external review of his body and reports that the body of Mr. Stewart, outside of the previously mentioned minor injuries, has no other injury and external examination does not reveal any cause of death," the release said. Frasier said he has ordered an autopsy of Stewart and expects it will be done as soon as a forensic pathologist is available.
The Oregon State Police has been placed in charge of the investigation. The Coos County Major Crime Team was activated and officers from the North Bend Police Department, the Coos Bay Police Department, the Coquille Police Department, the Bandon Police Department, the Oregon State Police, Coos County Community Corrections and the District Attorney's Office have responded. North Bend Police will lead the investigation of the Bandon incident. The Coos County Sheriff's Office has been excluded from the investigation since the death occurred at the jail.
Anyone with additional information is expected to contact the North Bend Police or the Oregon State Police.
UPDATE: An autopsy performed on Stewart on Tuesday afternoon, Dec. 5, revealed that he died from natural causes.
"It was determined that he was suffering from severe coronary artery disease," said Frasier in a press release. "The manner of death will be listed as a natural death and the cause of death will be severe coronary artery disease."
Frasier said there is no evidence of foul play in Stewart's death and that his family has been notified of the findings of the autopsy.