Baltimore County jail inmate dies in apparent suicide


Baltimore County police are investigating the apparent suicide yesterday of a 45-year-old inmate at the Baltimore County Detention Center in Towson.

The body of Edward Sawicki of Dundalk was discovered by another inmate about 7 a.m. in the jail's shower area, a police spokesman said. The inmate appeared to have used strips from a bedsheet to hang himself, authorities said.

Jim O'Neill, director of the county Bureau of Corrections, said police are conducting a routine independent investigation of the death.

Sawicki was being held in lieu of $3,500 bail after being arrested a week ago on charges of acting as a contractor without a license, failure to perform a contract and the theft of $500, and was facing a drunken-driving charge in Anne Arundel County, O'Neill said.

O'Neill said Sawicki left two notes in his cell, but the official would not reveal their contents.

According to jail officials, Sawicki was given a medical screening when he was incarcerated. There was no indication during his one week in the jail that he had mental health problems, O'Neill said.

The prisoners at the Towson jail are given breakfast from 4:30 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. and "most go back to sleep after they eat," O'Neill said. Upon being notified of the incident, guards attempted cardiopulmonary resuscitation while an ambulance was called, he said.

The prisoner was pronounced dead at St. Joseph Medical Center.

O'Neill said Sawicki served a 30-day term at the Towson jail in 2002 after being convicted of charges similar to those he faced before his death.

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