State officials investigating deaths of two inmates at Mississippi jail

Published 5:51 am Thursday, January 25, 2024

Officials are investigating two inmates who died at the same Mississippi jail two days apart.

The deaths occurred at the Alcorn County jail, one on Wednesday, Jan. 17 and the other on Friday, Jan. 19.

WTVA News in Tupelo reports that the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation is looking into the deaths, which do not appear to be related and happened in two different jails on the compound.

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On Jan, 17, jailers found James Tatsch unresponsive in an isolated cell. Tatsch was being held at the jail on chancery court-ordered mental health commitment and was being checked on every 30 minutes according to Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell.

Caldwell said nothing in the cell would have indicated foul play was involved in the death.

Tatsch later died at a local hospital.

Two days later, jailers found another inmate unresponsive. The unidentified inmate later died at the hospital. Caldwell said foul play was not suspected in the case and that there was no evidence of physical trauma.

The inmate and 51 other inmates were in a housing unit at the time jailers were alerted, the sheriff reported.