A Connecticut prison inmate hung himself earlier this week with the mask provided to him to help curb the possibility of contracting COVID-19, TMZ reports.
Daniel Ocasio, 32, had been serving his sentence for a third-degree burglary charge since August at the Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center when he was found dead with his cloth mask tied around his neck in the early morning hours of August 12.
“The ligature was made from the cloth mask issued to the offender population to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus,” Andrius Banevicius, Connecticut Department of Correction spokesperson, said in a statement, per CNN.
Despite efforts to save his life at the prison, Ocasio was pronounced dead after being transferred to a nearby hospital. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has ruled Ocasio’s death to be a suicide by hanging.
The DOC's Security Division and the Connecticut State Police are conducting an investigation into his death.
The state’s DOC reports that over 1,300 Connecticut prison inmates have tested positive for COVID-19. At least seven have died.