POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a suicide death involving an inmate who was arrested last week, accused of killing his aunt and critically injuring his father.
Deputies say 46-year-old Pedro Vega was found hanging from a sheet in his cell on Sunday night during a routine inmate check.
Inmates at the jail are checked every 15 minutes by a certified detention deputy. The sheriff’s office says Vega was seen standing in his cell at 5:57 p.m. When a deputy looked into his cell again at 6:09 p.m., Vega was found slouched against the wall with what appeared to be a sheet around his neck.
Deputies immediately cut Vega down from the sheet, but say he was unresponsive. Medical staff from the jail and deputies started CPR until EMS arrived and took over. Vega was taken to Florida Hospital in Sebring where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators who searched Vega’s cell found plastic spoons with sharpened ends that they believe were used to force torn ends of the bed sheet into an air return vent where they were tied. Deputies also found a noose in his pillowcase.
Vega was the subject of a manhunt and was arrested last week after deputies say he stabbed his aunt to death and stabbed his father 23 times in Davenport. An unharmed 4-year-old was also found at the gruesome crime scene covered in blood.
Vega was arrested on several charges, including first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder, and was taken to an Osceola County hospital to be treated for a gunshot wound.
He apparently attempted to escape while he was at the hospital. Deputies say he told detectives he needed to use the bathroom and partially escaped into the hall when his handcuff was removed.
Vega was transferred from the hospital to the Osceola County Jail on Friday and was then taken to South County Jail in Frostproof on Saturday, where he was placed in an isolation cell in maximum custody with a classification of dangerous and an escape risk.
The investigation into Vega’s death is ongoing.
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