Santa Barbara, Calif. – At approximately 9:00 p.m. last night, Custody Deputies discovered inmate Eduardo Velazquez, 38, of Santa Maria unresponsive in his cell. Custody Staff and WellPath jail medical staff immediately began life saving measures until Santa Barbara County Fire and AMR Paramedics arrived and took over. Velazquez did not respond to lifesaving measures and was pronounced dead at 9:36 p.m.
Velazquez was arrested by the Santa Maria Police Department on July 11, 2020 and was housed in the intake quarantine area. He tested positive for COVID-19 on July 16, 2020 and was rehoused in medical isolation. Velasquez began experiencing COVID-19 related complications and was hospitalized from July 17, 2020 until July 29, 2020. After his release from the hospital, Velazquez remained in medical isolation and was routinely checked during medical rounds. He was last checked by medical staff yesterday at 8:00 p.m. and exhibited no significant health issues at that time.
Velazquez was being held on $1,250,000 bail. He was arrested by the Santa Maria Police Department on a warrant for felonies including kidnapping to commit rape, aggravated sexual assault of a minor, oral copulation with force, lewd and lascivious acts with a child under the age of 14, rape by force, two counts of aggravated sexual assault of a minor, aggravated oral copulation of a minor, and continual sexual abuse of a child.
Velazquez’s next-of-kin have been notified. While his death appears to be due to natural causes, the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation to determine the official cause, manner, and circumstances of death. A final determination is pending an autopsy, toxicology, and lab results.