DOC: Steps are taken to preserve crime scenes “as best possible”

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DOC has launched an internal affairs investigation into the death of detainee Manson Ernest.

Guam – Although the Department of Corrections is unable to provide details of an ongoing internal investigation into Manson Ernest’s death, they did respond to our inquiries about policies and procedures.

At a press conference earlier in the week, DOC Director Tony Lamorena said that corrections officers make a check of the detainees every 30 minutes–a claim Medical Examiner Dr. Aurelio Espinola disputes as he said Ernest was dead for a minimum of 8 hours before he was found.

In an emailed response to PNC, Deputy Director Kate Baltazar said all cases of expired persons found within the confines of DOC are treated the same–whether it’s apparent how they died or not–as a crime scene.

There is a standard protocol for deaths, she adds. Medical staff, the Guam Fire Department and Guam Police Department are all contacted by a platoon commander or an officer-in-charge.

The area is secured and the director, deputy director and warden are also contacted.

“Steps are taken to ensure the area where the expired person is discovered is preserved as best possible prior to arrival of investigators and the medical examiner,” said Baltazar.