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Inmate dies at Matagorda County Jail

By adriana_acosta
March 5, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
Updated March 4, 2011 at 9:05 p.m.

BAY CITY - Matagorda County authorities say a 30-year-old man in jail on charges of criminal trespassing and indecency with a child was found dead in an apparent suicide Friday.

Andrew Mendoza of Danevang was found hanging from his cell just after 9 a.m. Friday.

The jailers immediately started CPR and emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene less than six minutes later, said Gary Mathis, Matagorda County sheriff.

Mendoza was transported to Matagorda Regional Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead at 9:50 a.m.

Jeannette Bell, Justice of the Peace Pct. 1, conducted an inquest and ordered an autopsy to be performed at the Galveston County medical examiner's office, Mathis said.

Mathis said Mendoza was in a single occupancy cell with no other inmates at the time of his death, Mathis said.

"As standard procedure, the Texas Rangers were called in to conduct an investigation," Mathis said.

The Texas Commission on Jail Standards was notified and a report was filed also as standard procedure, he said.

Mendoza had been at the Matagorda County jail since late December awaiting a trial, said Joe Raymond, brother of Mendoza.

He was held on a $40,000 bond.

Mendoza's family has contacted the League of United Latin America Citizens to obtain information from conflicting reports they have received since Friday.

"The family was never contacted after his death," said Joey Cardenas, LULAC state director.

The mother arrived at the county jail at 1 p.m. on Friday to drop off a money order, and only then was she informed of his death, Cardenas said.

"The family contacted me because they are looking for answers and want to know what really happened to their son," Cardenas said.

The family does not believe he committed suicide, Raymond said.

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