by Photo courtesy of San Diego County

The cause of death for 46-year-old Lonnie Newton Rupard could not be immediately established in an autopsy, according to the San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office. 

Despite the lack of immediate answers, officials say more tests are pending. 

According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, Rupard was found unconscious and unresponsive Thursday evening in his single-occupant cell at about 10:45 p.m. Efforts to resuscitate Rupard were carried out by jail personnel until paramedics took over and continued to perform life-saving measures. 

He was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. 

According to sheriff's Lt. Joel Stranger, Rupard, a National City resident, had been in the county jail since Dec.19 after being arrested by National City Police for violating the terms of his conditional release from state prison. He served a nearly two-year-term stemming from a 2019 assault conviction. 

Officials say Rupard did not appear to have suffered any traumatic injuries, and investigators have found no evidence of suspicious circumstances in connection to his death. 

The county Medical Examiner's Office conducted an autopsy and confirmed: "There were no signs of trauma, and Rupard did not presumptively test positive for any illegal substances," Stranger said. "The cause and manner of death are pending laboratory results and further evaluation."

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