St. Clair County Jail inmate dies after shortness of breath

News-DemocratMay 15, 2014 


A 31-year-old man died at the St. Clair County Jail on Tuesday night.

Juan M. Sifuentes, of Smithboro, was arrested by O'Fallon Police on a retail theft charge on May 6. At the time of his arrest, Sifuentes began experiencing shortness of breath and was taken to Memorial Hospital in Belleville, said Sheriff Rick Watson.

Sifuentes then was placed in the jail's infirmary but was later moved to a recovery area, Watson said. On Tuesday night, jail personnel found Sifuentes unresponsive and administered emergency medical care, then transferred him to St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, where he was pronounced dead, Watson said.

The sheriff's department will conduct an investigation into Sifuentes' death. An Illinois Department of Corrections investigator will work with the sheriff's investigator.

An autopsy was performed on Wednesday, but Coroner Rick Stone said no cause of death was determined. Additional testing will be conducted to determine why Sifuentes died, Stone said. The final results of the autopsy are expected in four to six weeks, Stone said.

Contact reporter Beth Hundsdorfer at or 618-239-2570.

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