Prison officials in Texas are admitting that a prisoner in their care, who was on suicide watch, managed to commit suicide using, of all things, toilet paper.
Prisoners in jails and prisons throughout the country are often placed on suicide watch. Throughout the history of the prison system, inmates have come up with bizarre and unique ways to kill themselves and their other inmates. This is why most prisoners have their belts and shoelaces removed once they enter the system. Now, reports are that an inmate in Texas managed to come up with a method that got past the guards and other prison officials.
The prisoner was 18-year-old Joel de la Rosa. He was in the jail in the city of Edinburg, which is right near the Texas-Mexico border. He had been taken into custody and had been in the jail for about three hours awaiting processing on charges of drug possession and evading arrest.
According to media reports, however, de la Rosa was supposed to be on suicide watch. De la Rosa had been put into prison earlier in the month and during that time in jail he had tried to hang himself in his cell. At that time the guards caught him in the act and were able to save his life.
This time, de la Rosa was determined to finish the job. According to prison officials, he wet down toilet paper and swallowed it. Apparently he swallowed enough of it to choke himself to death.
Authorities say that they have started an investigation into what happened. Police Chief Quirino Munoz told the press that the teenage prisoner was not receiving any particular special treatment, despite the prior suicide attempt.
The investigation into the incident has been placed in the charge of the Hidalgo County sheriff’s department.