OKEECHOBEE COUNTY, FL–
Authorities are investigating after two inmates in the custody of the Okeechobee County Sheriff’s Office died from unknown causes within a day of each other.
Officials say 19-year-old Kaitlynn Barnes was found not breathing in her bunk during morning roll call checks on Sept. 13th. Detention staff and emergency crews both performed CPR on Barnes, however, she did not survive.
The next day, Sept. 14th, 60-year-old Joseph Abruzz was found dead inside of his cell. Authorities say Abruzz was found during roll call. Abruzz was said to have been dead beyond the point of emergency intervention.
As part of the investigation, the K-9 narcotics team was brought in to search the cells. No illegal substances were found.
Both bodies have been taken to the coroner’s office to determine their cause of death.
Officials say the deaths do not appear to be related at this time.
Barnes had been at the jail since May on three counts of transmission/possession of child porn and three counts of sex acts involving an animal.
Abruzz was arrested in August for multiple drug possessions with the intent to distribute.