Mountains

County inmate dies in custody

By Tobie Baker Journal staff writer

An inmate at the Montezuma County Jail reportedly committed suicide while in custody last Thursday.

Edward Grant Lyen, 61, was booked on a single count of sexual assault of a child Thursday, June 13, at 10:13 a.m., according to Montezuma County Undersheriff Robin Cronk. Approximately 12 hours later, Lyen was discovered alone and unconscious inside a holding cell in the booking area, Cronk said.

“(Lyen) took his own life,” Cronk said. “The case has been ruled a suicide by the coroner.”

Cronk said jailors discovered Lyen’s body during a routine bed check following lights out. Officials attempted to revive Lyen by administrating CPR until medical officials arrived. Lyen was transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital, where he was pronounced dead on arrival, Cronk said.

“Mr. Lyen was not in general population,” said Cronk. “There are no known threats that were made against him by any inmates.”

Cronk was unable to release any further details surrounding the death, saying the case was still under investigation by the Colorado Bureau of Investigations.

According to Cronk, sheriff detectives requested Lyen come in for questioning Thursday morning. Following the interview, he was arrested and charged with the sex crime.

Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell said Lyen is the first inmate under his administration to die while in custody at the jail.

The Montezuma County Jail is a 104-bed facility operated under the direction of the sheriff’s office. According to Spruell, the facility houses an average of 90 inmates per day.

tbaker@cortezjournal.com

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