Kristina Marie Chermak, 35, of Santa Barbara — an inmate at the Northern Branch Jail — died Friday night at the Santa Barbara County facility near Santa Maria.
Her death occurred at 10:48 p.m.
Ms. Chermak was arrested by the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office in Isla Vista on March 5 on suspicion of burglary (a felony) and possession of stolen property (a misdemeanor). Ms. Chermak was ordered by the court to remain in custody pending transportation to the Department of State Hospitals for restoration of mental competency to stand trial.
At approximately 10:04 p.m. Friday, custody deputies conducted a security check of Ms. Chermak’s cell, where she was housed alone and noted no issues, according to Raquel Zick, the Sheriff’s Office public information officer.
At approximately 10:27 p.m., a nurse distributing medication noticed Ms. Chermak was unresponsive.
Ms. Zick said staff immediately began attempts to resuscitate Ms. Chermak and called for an emergency medical response. Wellpath Medical, County Fire and American Medical Response all responded.
Lifesaving measures were unsuccessful, and Ms. Chermak was declared dead.
Coroner’s detectives are investigating this death. Consistent with standard procedures for the sheriff’s office, investigators from the Criminal Investigation Bureau and Administrative Investigation team were called in to investigate the circumstances of this jail death, Ms. Zick said.
She said the death does not appear suspicious, but the cause of death is not immediately obvious and will require an autopsy to assist in the determination.
Ms. Zick said Ms. Chermak’s next-of-kin have been notified.