Inmate death investigated at Darke County Jail


GREENVILLE – The Darke County Coroner’s Office and the Darke County Sheriff’s Office are investigating the death of an inmate while incarcerated in the Darke County Jail.

On Wednesday July 6 at approximately 7:10 a.m. corrections officers discovered Thomas Rochow, 50, of Greenville, Ohio lying on his bed without a pulse. Corrections officers and deputies performed CPR including the application of an AED in an attempt to revive Rochow. Greenville Township Rescue Paramedics also responded and provided advanced life support care. Rochow was not resuscitated and was pronounced dead in the jail.

Darke County Coroner, Dr. Timothy Kathman and Chief Coroner’s Investigator Joe VanVickle responded to the scene to investigate. Detectives from the Darke County Sheriff’s Office were also assigned to investigate this case.

Rochow was arrested by the Greenville Police Department on the afternoon of July 4 for an outstanding warrant out of Darke County Common Pleas Court on felony theft charges. He was booked into the Darke County Jail on that date at approximately 2:42 p.m. He was placed in general population at the Darke County Jail. The Darke County Jail utilizes single occupancy cells therefore Rochow had no other inmates in his cell.

On Wednesday, July 6, he was awakened at 6:30 a.m. along with all other inmates in his ward. Rochow exited his cell and spoke with a corrections officer requesting that he remain in his cell in lieu of doing morning cleaning duties because he was not feeling well. Rochow’s request was granted and he immediately returned to his cell and the door was secured at approximately 6:32 a.m. At 7:10 a.m. corrections officers opened Rochow’s cell door and he was called out for breakfast, but he didn’t respond. The corrections officer checked Rochow and discovered him lying on his bed as if he was sleeping. The corrections officer tried to get Rochow to respond and discovered he was in cardiac arrest.

The preliminary investigation finds that Rochow did not appear to have any traumatic injury. There is no evidence or information that he was involved in any assault. He was cooperative while in the jail and no physical use of force was utilized while in the jail.

His body was taken to the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office for a forensic examination. According to Darke County Coroner Dr. Kathman, the cause of death is pending lab results and toxicology that could take several weeks.


Staff report

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