ICE: Immigration detainee’s death appears to be suicide

CUTHBERT, Ga. — A Mexican man held at a south Georgia immigration detention center has died in an apparent suicide, according to authorities. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said in a news release Thursday that 40-year-old Efrain De La Rosa was pronounced dead around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday after staff at the Stewart Detention Center in the city of Lumpkin found him unresponsive in his cell.

He died at a hospital in Cuthbert after efforts to revive him failed. ICE said the case is under investigation but the “preliminary cause of death appears to be self-inflicted strangulation.”

De La Rosa is the eighth person to die in ICE custody in fiscal year 2018, according to the news release. The agency said deaths in ICE custody are “exceedingly rare.”

De La Rosa was handed over to ICE on March 11 by law enforcement in Wake County, North Carolina, after a March 9 felony conviction for larceny. He was in deportation proceedings at the time of his death.

ICE said senior leadership will conduct an agency-wide review. ICE has advised Mexican consular representatives who have notified De La Rosa’s next of kin about the death, the news release said.

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