Darke County inmate dies in jail

Thomas Rochow was found dead in his cell in the Darke County Jail Wednesday. (Photo: Darke County Sheriff's Office)

GREENVILLE, Ohio (WDTN) – An investigation into the death of an inmate in the Darke County jail is underway.

The Darke County Coroner’s Office and the Darke County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death of an inmate inside the Darke County Jail. Wednesday just after 7:00 in the morning corrections officers found 50-year-old Thomas Rochow, of Greenville lying on his bed not breathing. Officers and deputies performed CPR and used an AED in an attempt to revive Rochow.

Rochow was not resuscitated and was pronounced dead in the jail.

The Darke County Coroner’s Office was called to the scene to investigate. Detectives from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office were also assigned to investigate this case.

According to the Darke County Sheriff’s Office, Rochow was arrested by Greenville Police on Monday for an outstanding warrant on felony theft charges. Rochow was booked into the Darke County Jail that same day. Authorities say the Darke County Jail uses single occupancy cells so Rochow has no other inmates in his cell.

Investigators say Wednesday morning Rochow was awakened at 6:30 along with all other inmates in his ward. Rochow walked out of his cell and told a corrections officer he was not feeling well and wanted to stay in his cell, and was allowed to do so.  Just after 7:00 a.m. corrections officers opened Rochow’s cell door and he was called out for breakfast and he did not respond. The corrections officer checked Rochow and discovered him lying on his bed as if he was sleeping. It was then discovered Rochow was in cardiac arrest.

Authorities say the preliminary investigation finds that Rochow did not appear to have any traumatic injury. There is no evidence that he was involved in any assault. He was cooperative while in the jail and no physical use of force was utilized while in the jail, investigators say.

Rochow’s body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for a forensic examination. According to Darke County Coroner Dr. Kathman, the cause of death is pending lab results and toxicology that could take several weeks.

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