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Dead inmate’s family asks court for findings of investigation

The family of a man who died in the Cook County Jail last year is asking a judge to grant them access to the findings in his death investigation.

Aldo Martinez, 27, was pronounced dead at 4:51 p.m. on Oct. 18, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office. His death by hanging was ruled a suicide.

Claudia Vasquez filed the motion for discovery Monday in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of her and the three children she had with Martinez.

In the filing, Vasquez alleges that Freedom of Information Act requests that she filed with the sheriff’s office — which sought the findings in the circumstances of Martinez’s death — were unjustly denied.

The FOIA requests were for video surveillance of the area Martinez was held — including his cell — in the hours leading up to his death, photos and video used to document the scene of his death, Martinez’s medical history while an inmate and the name and address of any inmate with knowledge of Martinez’s death, the filing said.

Sophia Ansari, a spokeswoman for the sheriff’s office, said the denial was justified.

“The records sought were at issue with an ongoing death investigation,” Ansari said. “We understand the family’s desire for access, but we could not produce [the records] until the investigation is concluded.”