Murder Suspect Miura Found Unconscious in Cell Pronounced Dead

October 11, 2008

Los Angeles:  During a routine cell inspection, a Los Angeles Police Department Detention Officer discovered 61-year old Kazuyoshi Miura unconscious in his cell.

Miura had been booked into the Los Angeles Police Department Metropolitan Jail at Parker Center early yesterday morning shortly after landing at Los Angeles International Airport on a trans-Pacific flight.  

On Oct. 6, 2008, LAPD Cold Case Detectives Rick Jackson, Rich Bengston and Tim Marcia had traveled to Saipan to begin Miura’s extradition.  Miura, arriving at Parker Center before 6 a.m., was booked without delay.  He was photographed, fingerprinted and as a high profile murder suspect, housed alone in a cell.  

On Friday, October 10, 2008 at approximately 9:45 p.m., medical assistance was summoned for Miura.  It was apparent that the murder suspect, alone in his cell, had used a piece of his shirt as a makeshift ligature around his neck.  

A Detention Officer immediately requested help, and along with two other Officers rushed into the cell to provide Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation to Miura.   Medical personnel from the Jail Dispensary, which is located within the facility, also immediately responded to the cell to provide life saving medical care.  Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded to the Parker Center Jail to continue those efforts and to transport Miura to the Los Angeles County USC Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The Department immediately notified the Consulate General of Japan, Consul Masaru Dekiba, and informed him of Miura’s apparent suicide.  The Consul General’s office then made notification to Mirua’s family in Japan.

Based on preliminary information, the Detention Officers assigned to the portion of the jail housing Miura had conducted a required cell check with nothing unusual to report, approximately 10 minutes prior to the request for medical assistance.  According to California Minimum Jail Standards, cell inspections are required every 30 minutes.  While walking by Miura’s cell 10 minutes after the required check, a Detention Officer saw what Miura had done, summoned help and along with the two other Officers entered the cell to try and save Miura’s life.  

Miura had been incarcerated in Saipan, since February 2008 after his arrest for the 1981 death of his wife, Kazumi Miura.  Prior to his incarceration in Saipan, Miura had also spent several years in prison in Japan.

A thorough investigation of this in custody death is being conducted by the LAPD Force Investigation Division.  That investigation will be reviewed by the Chief of Police,
Inspector General and the Los Angeles Police Commission, which has final review authority.  The County Coroner’s office will also conduct an investigation as to the cause of death and the office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney will have access to all investigations relative to this incident.