Immigrant detainee from Cuba dies while in ICE custody in Louisiana

Ashley Mott, Monroe News Star

MONROE, La. – A Cuban man has died while in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in Louisiana.

Roylan Hernandez-Diaz, 43, was pronounced dead Tuesday by medical personnel at the Richwood Correctional Center after he was found unresponsive in his cell.

Efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.

The preliminary cause of death appears to be suicide by hanging, described as "self-inflicted strangulation" by officials. The death remains under investigation.

Hernandez-Diaz's body was sent for an autopsy, according to the Ouachita Parish Coroner's Office. Results have not yet been received.

The appropriate agencies have been notified about the death according to ICE protocols. These include the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility.

ICE has also notified Hernandez-Diaz’s next of kin.

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ICE said Hernandez-Diaz entered the U.S. in May at an official port of entry in El Paso, Texas, and was sent to immigration detention.

Richwood Correctional Center averaged a daily ICE population of 375 for most of 2019. The facility is operated by LaSalle Corrections.

In a statement, ICE said it is committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident.

ICE reported a total of nine detainee deaths out of 396,000 people in custody during fiscal year 2018.

If you or someone you know is struggling with suicidal thoughts, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) any time of day or night or chat online. You can also text HOME to 741741 to reach the Crisis Text Line.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on Monroe News Star: ICE detainee from Cuba dies while in custody at Louisiana jail