The Santa Cruz Main Jail
The Santa Cruz main jail.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Sheriff’s office releases identity, cause of death of Santa Cruz main jail inmate

Santa Cruz resident Trevor George, 42, died by suicide Saturday while in custody at the main jail, the county sheriff’s office said in a release Thursday. It’s the second in-custody death in the past year and fifth since 2019.

The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office says that a 42-year-old who was found in distress Saturday at the main jail and was pronounced dead that afternoon died by suicide.

The individual was Trevor George, a Santa Cruz resident.

In a news release Thursday, the office said a forensic pathologist determined he died from asphyxia by hanging.

On Tuesday, the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release that on Saturday at 4:07 p.m., George was found in medical distress and medical staff started life-saving treatment. They also called emergency medical services who attempted to revive him, but George was pronounced dead at 4:39 p.m.

It’s the second death of an inmate in the main jail in the past year; Mark Van Beckner, 57, died Nov. 1 after suffering from internal bleeding caused by an arterial aortic aneurysm. Per sheriff’s spokesperson Ashley Keehn, there have been five in-custody deaths at the jail since 2019.

A grand jury report from June 2021 showed that Santa Cruz County saw 6.4 inmate deaths per 100,000 bookings from 2005 to 2019 — the seventh-lowest rate among California counties.

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