Santa Barbara County Jail inmate dies with coronavirus

A 38-year-old inmate at the Santa Barbara County Jail died on Tuesday evening after battling the coronavirus.

On July 11, Santa Maria police arrested Eduardo Velazquez, 38, for felonies including kidnapping to commit rape, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, oral copulation with force, lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, rape by force, two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor, aggravated oral copulation of a minor, and continual sexual abuse of a child. He was then placed in quarantine at the jail.

On July 16, Velazquez tested positive for the coronavirus and was placed in medical isolation. He began experiencing virus related complications and was
hospitalized from July 17 through July 29.

After his release from the hospital, Velazquez remained in medical isolation and was routinely checked during medical rounds.

Medical staff checked on him at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, and he exhibited no significant health issues at that time. However, at 9 p.m., Velazquez was found unresponsive in his cell. He did not respond to lifesaving measures.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation to determine the official cause, manner, and circumstances of death.

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