Inmate who died in jail was 36-year-old North County resident

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SAN DIEGO — Authorities released the name Friday of an inmate who died of unknown causes this week at the Vista Detention Facility.

Deputies responding to a panic alarm at the South Melrose Drive jail about 10 p.m. Tuesday found 36-year-old Michael Manuel Gomez of Vista inside a day room in apparent medical distress, according to sheriff’s officials.

“(Gomez) did not appear injured, but as deputies entered the module to help (him), he became unresponsive,” Lt. Rich Williams said. “CPR was initiated, and (he) was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at about 10:30 p.m.”

The county Medical Examiner’s Office was called in to determine the cause and manner of death in the case. Autopsy results were still pending Friday afternoon.

“Preliminary results did not reveal any obvious trauma or the presence of illegal drugs in (Gomez’s) system,” the lieutenant said.

Gomez was in custody on suspicion of probation violation and being a felon in possession of tear gas and a leaded cane, Williams said. The latter illegal item is defined as a staff, walking stick or similar object weighted expressly for use as a bludgeoning weapon.

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