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FBI investigating jail suicide

FBI investigating jail suicide



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BRIGHAM CITY, Utah (AP) -- The FBI is investigating the death of a Box Elder County Jail inmate that was ruled a suicide.

Jail officials said Chad Peterson, 26, of Brigham City, hanged himself in his cell on Nov. 10.

His family and lawyer raised questions about that determination after as rumors among inmates circulated that Peterson died at the hands of a jail corrections officer.

"We are absolutely investigating," said Juan Becerra, an FBI spokesman.

He said he could not comment further because the investigation is ongoing. Box Elder County Sheriff Lynn Yeates said he hasn't had any contact with FBI yet.

"I haven't heard a word from them, and most of the time, I am easy to find," he said.

Kevin Peterson, Chad's uncle, said the jail still has not released any of Chad's belongings to the family except for a belt buckle for the funeral.

Family members said they were told Chad was found hanged in his cell at 5:45 p.m., having last been seen at a 5 p.m. head count. Jail officials told reporters he was found at 5:15 p.m.

Box Elder County Chief Deputy Kevin Potter said the sheriff's office internal investigation is still open.

Peterson also expressed frustration that the medical examiner's report has not been released. The sheriff's office said it won't be until toxicology results come back.

"It would appear to me they're just stalling, which I find kind of odd with all the rumors swirling around," said Damien Kidd, a Salt Lake City attorney hired to help represent Chad Peterson's estate.

An employee of the medical examiner's office said reports are never released until toxicology results are finished.

Still, Kidd said, the sheriff's office should release some kind of statement on the case.

"If they found that it's a suicide, why wouldn't they want to dispel those rumors?"

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Information from: Standard-Examiner

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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