Inmate in ICE custody dies at McHenry County jail

Updated 9/13/2019 12:35 PM

A probe has begun into the death of an inmate at the McHenry County Correctional Facility in Woodstock who died Tuesday after being taken to an area hospital, according to a news release from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.

Robert Rodriguez-Espinoza, 37, of Mexico, who was in ICE custody, was pronounced dead at 9:35 p.m. Sept. 10 at Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield. The cause of death was a subdural hematoma, the release said.


Rodriguez-Espinoza, a documented gang member with a 2016 burglary conviction and 2008 theft conviction, was taken into custody by ICE officials Sept. 3 in Chicago and placed in the McHenry County jail.

At that time, Rodriguez-Espinoza admitted to daily consumption of alcohol, the release said.

On Sept. 7, Rodriguez-Espinoza was acting confused and the jail's physician had him taken to the Northwestern Medicine Woodstock Hospital emergency room for evaluation.

The next day, the hospital transferred him to Northwestern Medicine Huntley Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a brain hemorrhage. He was then taken to Central DuPage Hospital for a neurosurgery consult.

Rodriguez-Espinoza failed to respond during a neurological exam and the attending neurosurgeon said Rodriguez-Espinoza was unlikely to survive surgery, the release said.

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ICE contacted the Mexican Consulate to inform officials of Rodriguez-Espinoza's medical status and Mexican Consular officials said Rodriguez-Espinoza had no known next of kin, according to the release.

ICE officials said they are undertaking a agencywide review of the case that will be conducted by senior leadership to include enforcement and removal operations, the office of professional responsibility and the office of the principal legal adviser.

Medical care is provided to all those in ICE custody, which includes work by registered nurses and licensed practical nurses, licensed mental health providers, midlevel providers such as physician assistants and nurse practitioners, and a physician, the release said. Detainees also have access to dental care and 24-hour emergency care.

Rodriguez-Espinoza is the eighth person to die in ICE custody this year.

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