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Sonoma County Jail inmate, soon to be released, dies from apparent cut to wrist

Published: Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 7:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, April 21, 2013 at 7:13 p.m.

A 55-year-old Sonoma County Jail inmate died Friday from what appeared to be a self-inflicted cut to his wrist less than three hours before he was to be set free, Sonoma County sheriff's officials reported Sunday.

Fellow inmates at the North County Detention Facility near the county airport found Neils Conrad unconscious on the floor of the bathroom of the dorm room at about 9:25 p.m. Friday, Lt. Dennis O'Leary said.

Conrad died 10:17 p.m. at nearby Kaiser Permanente Hospital, O'Leary said.

The other inmates told investigators that Conrad, who had ties to San Francisco as well as Rohnert Park, had said he was depressed because of family problems and his “impending homelessness,” O'Leary said.

He had been scheduled to be released at midnight.

Conrad had been arrested Feb. 20 for suspected parole and probation violations after he failed a drug and alcohol test, O'Leary said.

Conrad had spent four stints in the Sonoma County Jail since 2008, O'Leary said.

O'Leary declined to say what Conrad used to harm himself and described it only as a “sharp instrument.”

The sheriff's violent crimes unit and the District Attorney's office are investigating the death.

An autopsy will confirm how Conrad died.

You can reach Staff Writer Julie Johnson at 521-5220 or julie.johnson@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @jjpressdem.

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