Deputies at Purgatory Correctional Facility found an unresponsive inmate in the booking area Monday morning, according to Lieutenant David Crouse from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.

Medical personnel attempted to resuscitate the inmate but later pronounced him dead. The inmate’s family has been notified of his death, and he was identified as 67- year-old Russell Dwain McGonigle from St. George.

The Sheriff requested that the Washington County Attorney’s Office Critical Incident Task Force investigate the incident. McGonigle had been receiving treatment for several health conditions prior to his death. His body has been sent to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner for an autopsy since he was in custody when he died. The investigation will include a screening for COVID-19.

Lieutenant Crouse stated that the Sheriff’s Office said there little evidence to support that the inmate died from COVID-19. The inmate was being monitored for health conditions at the time of death and said he was experiencing one symptom of COVID-19.

The inmate was being housed separately from staff and other inmates at the time of death. No inmates have currently tested positive for COVID-19 at PCF.

According to court records, McGonigle was in jail on federal possession of child pornography charges.

Story provided by our news partners at ABC 4 News.

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