No charges will be filed in the deaths of 3 McHenry County Jail inmates

Decision on death of 4th inmate is pending conclusion of investigation, sheriff’s office says

No charges will be filed against McHenry County Sheriff’s Office officials in connection with three in-custody inmate deaths that occurred within a matter of weeks last year. Investigation on a fourth death still pending, according to a news release sent Thursday by the sheriff’s office.

The sheriff’s office “recently received the final investigations of the in-custody deaths of Sean Grendel, Randy Little, and Timothy Mumford. Each investigation was conducted by the Major Investigation Assistance Team (MIAT) and reviewed by the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office. In each of these cases, the State’s Attorney declined to file charges,” according to the release. “We’d like to extend our gratitude to the State’s Attorney’s Office, McHenry County Coroner, and members of MIAT for their assistance in completing these investigations.”

Grendel, 51, of McHenry was found unresponsive in his jail cell by a correction officer Nov. 21. He was pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. He was being held in the jail on a suspended or revoked license, resisting a police officer and petty offenses, court records show.

Little, 59, of Harvard died Dec. 23 in a hospice facility of a terminal illness. He had been in custody at the county jail awaiting trial in connection with a police shooting outside his home in 2022 before being transferred to the facility, authorities said.

Mumford, 74, of Johnsburg was found unresponsive and declared dead on Dec. 5. He had been in the jail awaiting a psychological exam after an overnight standoff at his home that ended Nov. 15, authorities said.

The McHenry County Coroner’s Office said in an email Thursday that Mumford’s cause of death was Pulmonary Thromboemboli, Deep Vein Thromboses of the lower extremities and obesity. Grendel’s cause of death was hanging, according to the coroner’s office.

A determination on the death of Colton Sabo, 31, of Poplar Grove, who found unresponsive in his cell on July 28 and died the next day at a hospital “is pending the conclusion of the investigation,” according to the release.

“McHenry County Sheriff’s Office empathizes with members of our community and the families affected by these losses,” according to the release. “The Sheriff’s Office is committed to the health and safety of each inmate and is confident in our Corrections Officers’ ability to maintain a safe environment.”

“The Sheriff’s Office receives guidance on best practices through the Illinois Department of Corrections standards and American Correctional Association accreditation standards. The Sheriff’s Office’s own policies and procedures, as well as the training and professionalism of our Corrections Officers, ensure that these standards are met or exceeded. If you’d like to review Sheriff’s Office’s procedures, you can find them here:,” according to the sheriff’s release.

“In the case of any inmate death, an investigation by an independent agency is always conducted. [MIAT] has been called to act as the independent agency in recent events. Details are not released until MIAT, in conjunction with the Coroner’s Office and the State’s Attorney’s Office, concludes the investigation,” according to the release.