Jefferson Sheriff’s Office investigating ‘suspected suicide’ at Forks jail

Official: Woman hanged herself Saturday

FORKS — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating after an inmate hanged herself at the Forks Correctional Facility over the weekend.

Forks Police Chief Mike Rowley said Monday that Kimberly Bender’s body was found Saturday evening and that the investigation remained open.

Jefferson County Sheriff Joe Nole said Bender’s body was found in her cell at about 6 p.m. Saturday and his office was asked to investigate at about 7 p.m.

He called the death a “suspected suicide.”

“There’s nothing to indicate foul play,” he said.

Information on how Bender was able to hang herself was not available Monday.

Nole said she was in jail on a Department of Corrections violation.

He said Bender did not give any indication that she was suicidal and she was not on suicide watch. Inmates are checked on once every two hours, he said.

“We were called in as a third party to do an objective investigation, just as we would anywhere,” Nole said.

The Sheriff’s Office’s investigation does not examine whether policy and procedures were followed.

Rowley said he had no reason to believe policy wasn’t followed, but that will be determined following an internal investigation.

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Reporter Jesse Major can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56250, or at [email protected].

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