Cause of death released for second deceased inmate at county jail

Posted 11/28/22

Autopsy findings were released today, Nov. 28, in the death of Okeechobee County Jail inmate Kaitlynn Joy Barnes and her unborn child.

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Cause of death released for second deceased inmate at county jail

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OKEECHOBEE — Autopsy findings were released Nov. 28, in the death of Okeechobee County Jail inmate Kaitlynn Joy Barnes and her unborn child.

Barnes was found deceased in her cell on Sept. 12.

The press release issued by the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office states, "We can now report that Miss Barnes's death has been labeled "Natural - Complications of Pregnancy," by the Medical Examiners' Office. A broader explanation of the factors is detailed below.

"Barnes had non-specific changes in the lungs and liver, which are suggestive indications of but not limited to eclampsia, H.E.L.L.P. syndrome, and acute fatty liver during pregnancy.

"Eclampsia is a condition in which one or more convulsions occur in a pregnant woman suffering from high blood pressure, often followed by a coma that poses a significant threat to the health of the mother and baby.

"H.E.L.L.P. syndrome is a rare pregnancy complication. It is a type of preeclampsia that causes elevated liver enzymes and low platelet count.

"Each contributes to the death of Kaitlynn Joy Barnes and, ultimately, her unborn child.

"This case is closed, and we hope this brings closure to Miss Barnes's family and friends. The Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office Administration & Detention Staff take those individuals' daily management, care, and custody seriously.

"Our condolences continue to go out to the family and friends of Miss Barnes and her unborn child."

Barnes was arrested May 18 and accused of transmitting child porn out-of-state, three counts possession of photos depicting sexual performance by a child and three counts engaging, aiding or advertising sexual contact with a child.

Barnes and another inmate, Joseph Abruzzi, died only hours apart in September but no link was found between the two inmates or their deaths.

 Barnes, 19, was found not breathing in her bunk during morning roll call checks. CPR was attempted  by detention staff and emergency services. However, she was pronounced deceased.

Abruzzi, who had been housed  alone in his cell since his arrival, was in jail on charges  of possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of LSD with the intent to distribute, possession of MDA with the intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance with the intent to distribute, possession of methamphetamine with the intent to distribute, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of marijuana under 20 grams and DUI.

On Nov. 16, 2022, case agent Detective Satallante received the Cause of Death report for Arbruzzi from The Medical Examiner Department - District 19. The cause of death was listed as complications of Diabetes Mellitus with Hypertensive Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease contributing. The death was ruled natural.

 

OCSO, inmate deaths

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