Officials investigate 2 inmate deaths at Franklin County Jail

A second inmate in a month has died at the Franklin County jail.

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday after a 42-year-old Othello woman was found dead in her cell in the Pasco jail last week. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner is trying to determine why Faviola Valenzuela died on March 15, said Franklin County Coroner Curtis McGary.

Valenzuela was brought to the jail the previous weekend, Sheriff Jim Raymond told the Tri-City Herald. On Tuesday, another inmate told jail officials that Valenzuela was having a medical problem, Raymond said. An officer found she had died.

Raymond didn’t know why she was taken into custody, but said there were mental health concerns. The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office is investigating her death, and the information will be provided to the prosecutor’s office and the county’s insurance company.

Thomas Franklin collapsed in the booking area of the jail on Feb. 22. He was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland and died the next day. Blood test results are pending. The sheriff’s office is also investigating that death. Franklin was being booked in on out-of-state warrants at the time.

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