Sheriff says overdose killed jail inmate
June 25, 2014
The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department said the third man to expire while in custody this year died from an acute heroin overdose.
On May 30, Timothy Richard Janowicz, 29, was found dead on his bunk at the San Luis Obispo County Jail. The Atascadero High School graduate became addicted to drugs after being accidentally shot in the stomach as a teen.
The coroner’s report also lists significant conditions of atherosclerotic coronary artery disease as a contributing factor in Janowicz’ death.
Sheriff detectives are continuing to investigate how this inmate was able to obtain the heroin while inside the jail.
In a press release, sheriff officials said that the smuggling of contraband is an ongoing problem at county jails. The department has budgeted this year to purchase a digital security screening system which detects all types of contraband, internally and externally.
Janowicz is the third San Luis Obispo County Jail inmate to die this year shortly after being discovered incapacitated in a cell. Several former inmates and local attorneys contend conditions at the jail are so poor that multiple inmates have marred skin from the widespread incidences of staph infections.
On Jan. 23, Rudy Joseph Silva, 35, was discovered unconscious in his cell. He was transported to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center where he died of influenza and a staphylococcus infection four days later.
In March, Josey Meche, 28, was found unresponsive on a cell floor and died shortly afterwards from a heart attack. At the time of his death, he had a 105.1 temperature, a staph infection and a toxic level of methamphetamine in his system, according to the autopsy report.