Jail inmate dies despite efforts by correctional staff

Zion man, held since October, was found to be seizing, then stopped breathing in his cell

WAUKEGAN – A Zion man who was being held at the Lake County Jail died after suffering a seizure despite attempts by the correctional staff to revive him, authorities said.

About 4 p.m. Feb. 18, a Lake County Jail inmate was found having a seizure in his cell. The inmate, a 50-year-old Zion man, had been in the jail’s custody since Oct. 5, 2022, according to a news release.

One of the jail’s nurses already was in the inmate’s pod and quickly responded to the inmate’s cell, as did several corrections officers. When the inmate stopped seizing, he stopped breathing, police said.

CPR immediately was administered by the jail’s nurse and several corrections officers. An automated external defibrillator also was used. Paramedics were summoned and took the inmate to Vista East Medical Center in Waukegan, where he was pronounced dead, according to the release.

A review of the security surveillance cameras showed the inmate walked into his single-inmate cell just before collapsing and seizing inside of his cell.

There were no signs of trauma on the inmate’s body and no indications of foul play.

The deceased has been identified as Victor Morales Jr. of Zion.

On Feb. 21, an autopsy was completed at the Lake County Coroner’s Office. The autopsy revealed there were underlying medical conditions and there were no significant injuries to Morales Jr. Final results are pending toxicology and further testing.

The inmate was being held on charges of armed habitual criminal, felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated unlawful use of a weapon.

According to protocol, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Lake County Major Crime Task Force to conduct an independent investigation.

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network

Shaw Local News Network provides local news throughout northern Illinois