Inmate found dead at Santa Barbara County Jail

By KAREN VELE

A 35-year-old female inmate was found dead in her cell at the Santa Barbara County Jail on Friday evening.

Deputies arrested Kristina Marie Chermak of Santa Barbara on March 5 for burglary and possession of stolen property. The court ordered her to remain in custody pending transportation to the Department of State Hospitals for restoration of mental
competency.

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Friday, custody deputies conducted a security check of Chermak’s cell, where she was housed alone, and noted no issues. About 30 minutes later, a nurse distributing medications discovered Chermak was unresponsive.

Staff unsuccessfully attempted to resuscitate Chermak. She was declared dead at the jail. Coroner deputies are investigating the death.

“So far, this death does not appear suspicious, but the cause of death is not immediately obvious and will require an autopsy to assist in the determination,” according to the sheriff’s department.

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