Autopsy: Kane County inmate died of heart attack in custody

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Thomas Roberts | Kane County sheriff’s office

An inmate who collapsed and died Wednesday night at the Kane County Adult Justice Center in west suburban St. Charles suffered a heart attack, an autopsy has found.

Thomas Roberts, 53, collapsed in the day room of the medical housing unit of the jail at 37W75 Route 38 about 7:40 p.m., according to the Kane County sheriff’s office.

CPR was performed until paramedics arrived, but Roberts was pronounced dead at the scene at 8:11 p.m., according to the sheriff’s office.

Roberts was in the medical unit because he had recently complained of chest pains, according to the sheriff’s office, which said his death appeared to be a medical event.

Several other inmates were in the room when Roberts collapsed, according to the sheriff’s office.

An autopsy Friday determined his preliminary cause of death to be “myocardial infarction and coronary atherosclerosis,” according to a statement from the Kane County coroner’s office. Toxicology samples were collected and sent to a forensic lab.

Roberts, of Clarksville, Tennessee, had been charged with criminal sexual assault of a victim under 18 and was booked Feb. 22 into the jail, where he was being held on a $500,000 bond.

Illinois State Police were investigating his death.

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