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Local

DeKalb County Jail inmate dies from blood clot


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SYCAMORE – An inmate at the DeKalb County Jail died Friday of natural causes, DeKalb County Coroner Dennis Miller said.

Randall L. Dahl, 55, was found lying on the floor of his jail cell about 12:40 p.m. Friday, De-Kalb County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Kevin Hickey said. Officers immediately began first aid and resuscitation effort at the jail, which is located on the second floor of the DeKalb County Public Safety Building in Sycamore. Dahl was taken by ambulance to Kishwaukee Community Hospital in DeKalb, where he was pronounced dead.

An autopsy identified the cause of death as a blood clot in Dahl’s lung, Miller said.

By law, inmate deaths are investigated by the sheriff’s office, coroner’s office and state’s attorney, Hickey said. The state jail inspector also must be notified within 72 hours; the county jail notified the inspector’s office within an hour of Dahl’s death, Hickey said.

DeKalb County State’s Attorney John Farrell said no further investigation is planned.

“We are aware of his health history. He had some health issues, and the death was ruled natural causes,” Farrell said. “There would be no reason to undertake a further investigation at this juncture.”

Dahl was admitted to the jail Wednesday evening on misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, Hickey said. Deputies had been called to Kishwaukee Community Hospital that evening because Dahl had been released from the hospital but refused to leave and was acting disruptive, Hickey said.

“He made it clear to officers he wanted to be arrested. They were just going to escort him off the property,” Hickey said. “He made such a ruckus eventually they had to arrest him.”

Dahl was housed in a single cell because there were concerns about his mental state, Hickey said. Prisoners in those cells typically are checked on every 15 to 30 minutes, but Dahl rarely spoke to the officers checking on him.

“He was homeless at the time and was content to stay here,” Hickey said. “But he was uncooperative and noncommunicative. He typically would just ignore people.”

Dahl had the funds to post bail but refused, Hickey said.

Miller said he will meet with members of Dahl’s family early next week to discuss release of his remains.

Dahl is the third inmate at the county jail to die since April 2009. That month, 19-year-old Brandi Brantley hanged herself in a visitation room while awaiting transfer to a rehabilitation facility. Last October, Gary Aspengren, 64, fell in his cell and struck his head. He died in a Rockford hospital the next day. The last jail death before last year was in 1995.

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