Last updated at 4:10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 3


A Fairbanks inmate seen by Fairbanks Memorial Hospital (FMH) staff was found dead in his cell hours after returning from his second hospital visit in two days.


Joel Titus, 40, was to be booked at the Fairbanks Correctional Center (FCC) on Thursday under charges of fourth-degree criminal mischief and failure to appear in court, but was refused admission just before 3 p.m. “due to a medical reason,” Department of Corrections spokesman Corey Allen Young said in a statement Saturday. Fairbanks police took Titus to FMH, where he was medically clear and brought back to the prison at 3:21 p.m.


The next day at 11:28 a.m., Titus was taken back to FMH while on detox protocols for alcohol withdrawal, Young explained. He was cleared and brought back to FCC at 1 p.m. by hospital staff. At that point, he was “started on medication for outpatient detoxification,” Young wrote.


“Titus was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 8:45 p.m. during a security check by on-duty Corrections Staff,” he said.


Young said DOC staff started life-saving measures until Fairbanks emergency responders arrived, but Titus was declared dead at 9:22 p.m. at FMH.


In a phone interview, Young said he was not sure of the exact time Titus was last seen alive by DOC staff, but said they check on inmates every half an hour. The medical staff will sometimes order more frequent checks for a variety of medical issues, he said.


“His death is the eighth in custody death for 2016,” Young wrote.


Titus’ next of kin have been notified, and his death will be reviewed by Alaska State Troopers and the State Medical Examiner’s Officer per DOC protocols, according to Young.


This is a developing story. KTVA has reached out to the DOC will update this report when more information becomes available.


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