The death of Lorain County Jail inmate and Wellington resident Joseph Boden is under investigation.
Boden was pronounced dead at University Hospitals Elyria Medical Center after being found “in need of assistance” in the 4 West Housing Unit of the jail at 11:25 p.m. Sunday, according to a Monday statement by Lorain County sheriff Phil Stammitti.
Stammitti said in an interview that his office is looking into Boden’s death.
Lorain County coroner Stephen Evans said Tuesday that the cause of death is under investigation, but foul play isn’t suspected. Results of an autopsy were pending Tuesday.
The release said Boden was alert and standing for an 11 p.m. head count.
His wife, Jessica Boden, said in a Monday interview that her husband was in dormitory-style housing. She said detectives told her an inmate alerted guards that something was wrong with Boden and that he had no pulse and was unresponsive when CPR was performed on him.
Prisoner deaths at the jail, which processes about 8,000 inmates annually, are rare.
The last death at the jail, which was housing 462 inmates Monday, involved a female inmate who committed suicide in 2012, according to Andy Laubenthal, jail administrator. A female inmate died of natural causes in 2011.
Laubenthal said the sheriff’s office and jail staff “deeply regrets” Boden’s death. “Our sympathies go out to his family,” he said.
Boden had begun serving a sentence for theft Jan. 4 and was to be released April 3.
Jessica Boden said she last saw her husband about a week before his death when she visited him at the jail. She said Boden, 37, who did concrete pouring and roofing, was in good spirits because he had arranged for a full-time construction job after his release.
Boden had an extensive criminal record including convictions for burglary, drunken driving, and cocaine possession and was indicted in February on assault and drug charges.
However, Jessica Boden, who began dating Boden in 2004 and married him in 2009, said he was a good father to their 10-year-old son and nine-year-old daughter. She said he also has a 19-year-old son from a different relationship.
Jessica Boden said her husband was teaching their son to play golf and often took the children to Findley State Park and Cascade Park in Elyria. Her husband grew up on Oberlin and Wellington before the family moved to Tampa, Fla., while he was a teenager.
After the family moved back to the area, Boden earned a GED diploma. Jessica Boden described him as a history buff who frequently watched the History Channel. She said he was a fan of the Cleveland Browns and Tampa Bay Buccaneers and was an outgoing person.
“He was the center of attention in any room he went in and he could make anybody laugh,” Boden said. “He could make anybody’s mood change from negative to positive.”
Evan Goodenow can be reached at 440-775-1611 or GoodenowNews on Twitter