Coroner releases autopsy results for inmate who collapsed at Champaign County Jail

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UPDATE - The Champaign County Coroner has released preliminary autopsy results for a Champaign County Jail inmate who died on March 27.

Coroner Duane Northrup says Paul Clifton, 59, died from natural causes, according to autopsy results.  Clifton collapsed at the Champaign County Jail Sunday morning, and was taken to Carle Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Northrup says preliminary findings revealed no evidence of injury or trauma.  Final autopsy results are pending toxicology testing and histology studies.

Clifton's death is still under investigation.  We will provide more information as it becomes available.


CHAMPAIGN COUNTY – Champaign County Sheriff Dan Walsh released a statement on Sunday saying a multi-jurisdictional team will be investigating after an inmate died of an apparent seizure.

Sheriff Walsh says 59-year-old Paul Clifton, of Urbana, experienced what appeared to be a seizure and respiratory arrest at about 9:15 AM on Sunday, March 27. He says correctional officers immediately began lifesaving efforts while waiting for Urbana Fire Rescue and an ambulance to arrive.

Clifton was taken to Carle Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead at 10:18 AM.

Clifton had been booked into the Champaign County Jail at 1:20 AM on Saturday, March 26, based upon a warrant for his arrest. The warrant, issued by Judge John R. Kennedy on February 19, was for Violation of the Terms of Probation on the original offense of Driving on Suspended License.

Sheriff Walsh says while he does not suspect foul play, he has asked the Illinois State Police to active the Champaign County Multi-Jurisdictional Investigative Team to investigate this death. The team began their investigation shortly after 10:30 AM on Sunday. That investigation will take place over the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff’s Office and Champaign County Coroner will also be conducting their own investigation.

Clifton’s next of kin had been notified at the time of the released statement.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, they believe Clifton’s death was a medical incident, and they await the results of the investigations.

Champaign County Coroner Duane Northrup says an autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday morning. An inquest may be held at a later date.

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