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Santa Maria - Lompoc - North County

Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office investigating death of an inmate

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of an inmate this weekend.

Sheriff's office spokesman Raquel Zick said on Saturday around 2:20 p.m., custody staff at the county's main jail were conducting routine security checks when they found an inmate unresponsive in his housing unit.

35-year-old Kean Ardie San Juan Pinon of Santa Maria was reportedly alone in the unit and hanging from a bedsheet. Custody staff immediately provided aid to the man while calling for jail medical staff and paramedics to assist.

Pinon was then transported to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital where he died about one hour later. His next of kin have been notified.

Zick said, while this incident appears to be a suicide, the sheriff's office is conducting a thorough investigation into the circumstances and determine the cause and manner of Pinon's death.

Pinon was booked into the Santa Barbara County Jail on Monday, July 12, 2021, at 10:56 a.m. after being arrested by the Santa Maria Police Department for residential burglary, a Santa Barbara County warrant issued for a probation violation on charges of possession of controlled substances in a jail, a Santa Barbara County warrant issued for a probation violation on charges of grand theft, and a court remand for possession/purchase of narcotics for sales.

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