Police identify inmate found dead in jail cell

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SAN DIEGO — Authorities Friday publicly identified a 24-year-old jail inmate found dead of unknown causes this week at Las Colinas Detention and Reentry Facility.

Deputies conducting a security check found Elisa Serna of Alpine unconscious in her cell in a medical observation unit at the Santee women’s jail shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, according to sheriff’s officials.

Lifesaving efforts on the part of detentions staff and paramedics failed to revive her, Lt. Michael Blevins said.

Serna, who had been in custody for six days on suspicion of theft and drug-related offenses, was alone in her cell when she was discovered unresponsive, and “no preliminary evidence of foul play was discovered,” the lieutenant said.

A cause-of-death ruling in the case is on hold pending completion of postmortem tests, according to Blevins.

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