Thursday, December 07, 2023

KCSO investigating attempted jail suicide in Wallace

| September 27, 2023 11:44 AM

WALLACE –– The Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office is currently investigating an attempted suicide that happened inside the Shoshone County Jail last week.

Just after noon on September 18, inmate Dwayne Noel was found unconscious, hanging inside one of the cells during a routine security check.

Noel, 51, had fashioned a makeshift noose using one of the bed sheets in the cell – lifesaving measures were attempted by the jail staff while emergency medical crews were en route to the facility. Once they arrived, crews from Shoshone County Fire District No. 1 were able to get Noel’s pulse back and he was transported to Kootenai Health for further treatment.

According to a release from the Shoshone County Sheriff’s Office, due to the extent of the damage done while Noel was unconscious, he was put on life support and eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Noel was awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of possession with intent to deliver methamphetamine.

He had been arrested in March of this year and initially was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, possession with intent to deliver, and possession of paraphernalia. After bonding out of jail, Noel was arrested again after violating the conditions of his release.

His sentencing had been set for November 13, of this year.

Shoshone County Sheriff Holly Lindsey explained in her release that whenever a death occurs inside a jail, a separate law enforcement agency is called in to handle the investigation – which is why it’s being handled by Kootenai County.

Sheriff Lindsey has been vocal in her efforts to curb suicide in Idaho and offered some harrowing statistics.

“According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), Idaho is ranked 12th in the nation for the highest suicide rate,” she said. “As bad as this number is, Idaho has made traction in suicide awareness efforts in the past few years as we used to be ranked fifth in the nation. Suicide is also the second leading cause of death for our youth in Idaho.”

The suicide problem in Idaho and the Silver Valley continues to be a battle, one that Lindsey and her department are taking very seriously.

“Just yesterday, our deputies responded to the Prichard area due to the suicide of a 24-year-old male,” Lindsey said. “In my line of work, I speak to a ton of people every day, and it’s no surprise to me that many of the people I talk to have family tragedies involving suicide. It’s heartbreaking and it devastates families.”

The past few months have been trying on the Shoshone County community as a whole – that isn’t lost on local law enforcement, who see a lot of the devastation firsthand.

“Devastated, it seems like I've had to use that word several times lately to describe the recent tragedies happening in Shoshone County,” Lindsey said. “All of us go through times of hardship. All of us do – so just remember that you are not alone. There are people out there who want to help you get through the tough times and see another day.”

For anyone who may be experiencing a crisis or thoughts of suicide, or knows of someone else who may be, dial the National Suicide and Crisis Lifeline at 988. Or call the Shoshone County Crisis and Resource Center at (208) 556-0500.

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