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Cause of death, name of Montrose County inmate released

The Montrose County coroner has released the cause of death and identity of a jail inmate who died in his cell.

Prison Cell Bars

The Montrose County coroner has determined that a county jail inmate who died in his cell hanged himself.

According to a news release, the inmate was 26-year-old Robert James Lee Petersen, who most recently lived in Yuma, Arizona, but previously lived in Ridgway, Colorado.

Petersen was found unresponsive in his cell at around 12:30 am Friday. Jail deputies, Montrose Fire Protection District EMS personnel, and the ER staff at Montrose Memorial Hospital all tried to revive him, but they were unsuccessful.

The cause of death was officially determined to be asphyxiation due to compression of the neck secondary to hanging. The manner of death was suicide.

Petersen's death is still under investigation by the Coroner's Office of Medical Investigations and the Seventh Judicial District's Critical Incident Team.