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Sheriff says inmate’s death appears to be self-inflicted

Justin Kestner photo from Anamosa State Penitentiary

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — A sheriff says the death of an inmate from Iowa in a Wisconsin prison cell appears to have been self-inflicted.

Dodge County Sheriff Dale Schmidt said Thursday his office is investigating the death of 26-year-old Justin Kestner at the Dodge Correctional Institution in Waupun, Wisconsin.

But he says “there’s no foul play involved” by any other inmates and the death “seems that it was self-inflicted.”

Authorities announced last week that Kestner was found unresponsive in his cell on Dec. 21, and was soon pronounced dead. His family said in an obituary that the northwest Iowa native died “unexpectedly.”

Kestner had been transferred to Wisconsin in November after causing major problems for Iowa prison officials, including a July 2015 escape from the maximum-security prison in Fort Madison.