The El Paso County Coroner's Office determined that Justin Ferguson, an inmate at the county jail in May, died from acute chest syndrome — a complication caused by a rare blood disease.
Ferguson, who was 31, died May 9 after deputies found him unresponsive and not breathing in his cell around 12:49 a.m., the sheriff's office said.
Deputies began life-saving efforts until emergency crews arrived and took over, but medical responders were not able to revive Ferguson, deputies said.
The coroner's autopsy report stated Ferguson's acute chest syndrome stemmed from hemoglobin sickle-beta thalassemia — a rare genetic disease.
Ferguson's autopsy took over five months to complete, as additional testing was required to determine Ferguson's cause death, the coroner's office said.
Ferguson was the second death in the jail during 2021, since then three more inmates died in the jail.