STOCK ISLAND -- The apparent suicide of a Key Largo man who was detained in the Stock Island jail has prompted the Monroe County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to launch investigations.
"We need to make sure there was no question about impropriety," Sheriff Rick Ramsay told the Free Press, adding that FDLE investigations are standard for inmate suicides.
Glenn Breeland Jr., 29, who was arrested in May for allegedly choking his ex-girlfriend, hanged himself with a bedsheet before 5 p.m. Oct. 4, according to the Sheriff's Office. Officers found Breeland with marks on his neck consistent with a hanging, their report states.
One end of the sheet was around his neck and the other was around a shelf. He was kneeling forward on the floor, which presumably cut off his air supply, the report says.
Hours before Breeland's body was found, he was checked by a physician on an unrelated matter and was cleared, Ramsay said.
"When they're out in the common area, their minds are occupied with playing cards or talking to other inmates," he said. "Sitting alone in the cell, the mind starts going and some are worried about prison time."
Breeland's death was not captured by jail surveillance since cameras are not pointed in inmate cells or showering areas.
"Even in jail, there is an expectation of privacy," Ramsay said.
Having the manpower to continuosly monitor more than 400 cells is not possible, nor would it necessarily be effective, he added.
"All it takes is a couple of minutes and someone can end their life," Ramsay said. "If you take out the sheets and bedding and clothing, then some inmates will try to ram their head against the concrete walls."
Breeland passed a standard intake interview at the jail which attempts to gauge if inmates are potentially suicidal. Breeland left no suicide note nor confided his intentions with anyone, Ramsay said.
Investigators will submit their report to the sheriff's Suicide Prevention Task Force, which could make recommendations to change policy. As the investigation is ongoing, Internal Affairs could play a role, Ramsay added.
"I feel terrible when something like this happens," he said. "We don't want people passing away in the jail."
According to sheriff's spokeswoman Becky Herrin, the last suicide at the jail took place in March 2012.
A funeral service for Breeland was held last week at Allen-Beyer Funeral Home in Key Largo.