Matagorda County Jail inmate dies from hanging attempt

May 18, 2012 at 12:18 a.m.

A Matagorda County Jail inmate died late Thursday after trying to hang herself in her cell.

While making rounds at about 6 p.m., a jailer found Susan Elizabeth Silva, 29, of Kempner, attempting to hang herself.

Jailers attempted to perform CPR on her and were relieved by emergency medical service personnel.

Silva was transported to Matagorda General Hospital, where doctors pronounced her dead at 11:37 p.m.

Matagorda County Sheriff Gary Mathis would not say what she used to hang herself.

Silva was arrested May 12 on a charge of public intoxication and later charged with assault on a public servant while in custody at the county jail.

Mathis said while Silva's death was tragic, jail suicides are not uncommon.

"These types of incidents are unfortunate, but they do happen in every jail in the state and other states," Mathis said. "Unfortunately, this one didn't turn out well. We tried to save her, and we do feel bad we were unsuccessful. I feel bad for anyone who chooses this route."

Texas Rangers are investigating Silva's death. State jail authorities were notified.

The Matagorda County Jail is fully cooperating with the investigation, Mathis said.



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