San Diego County Jail

Drug Abuse, Pregnancy Contribute to Santee Inmates Death: ME

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A 24-year-old inmate who died at Las Colinas women's jail in Santee last fall succumbed to complications of drug abuse and pregnancy, authorities reported Thursday.

Deputies conducting a security check in a medical observation unit at the eastern San Diego County detention center found Elisa Serna, of Alpine, unconscious and unresponsive in her cell on the morning of Nov. 11, according to sheriff's officials.

Despite lifesaving efforts, she was pronounced dead, said Lt. Michael Blevins.

After postmortem examinations, the county Medical Examiner's Office ruled Serna's manner of death to be natural due to substance abuse, with a contributing factor of early intrauterine pregnancy.

Serna had been in custody for six days on suspicion of theft and narcotics offenses, and was being housed by herself at the time of her death, Blevins said.

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