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Coroner's detectives to investigate inmate death, sheriff's office says

Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office
Posted at 5:20 PM, Sep 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-10 20:20:31-04

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office says an inmate died at the Santa Barbara County Northern Branch Jail on Friday.

In a press release, the sheriff's office says 35-year-old Kristina Marie Chermak of Santa Barbara died at 10:48 p.m.

According to the press release, Chermak was arrested by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office in Isla Vista on March 5, 2022, for burglary and possession of stolen property. Chermak was ordered by the court to remain in custody pending transportation to the Department of State Hospitals for restoration of mental competency to stand trial.

At 10:04 p.m., the sheriff's office says custody deputies conducted a security check of Chermak’s cell where she was housed alone and noted no issues.

At about 10:27 p.m., a nurse conducting medication distribution noticed Chermak was unresponsive.

Staff immediately began attempts to resuscitate Chermak and called for an emergency medical response.

Wellpath medical, County Fire and American Medical Response all responded, but lifesaving measures were unsuccessful and Chermak died.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office says coroner's detectives are investigating this death.

Consistent with standard procedures for the Sheriff’s Office, investigators from the Criminal Investigation Bureau and Administrative Investigation team were called in to investigate the circumstances of this jail death.

So far, the sheriff's office says this death does not appear suspicious, but the cause of death is not immediately obvious and will require an autopsy to assist in the determination.

Chermak’s next-of-kin have been notified.