The Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of an inmate in the county’s jail last Friday as an apparent suicide.
Sheriff Mike Linder on Tuesday said inmate Chad Shuler, 36, of Billings, was found in his cell at about 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 18. An autopsy conducted Monday showed that Shuler died as a result of asphyxiation by hanging, Linder said.
Shuler had been booked into the jail on Jan. 8 for a parole violation. He was sentenced in 2011 to three years with the Department of Corrections for a burglary conviction in Yellowstone County.
A detention officer found Shuler unconscious and on the floor, leaning against his cell door when the officer went to check on him as dinner was being served, Linder said. Evidence indicates that Shuler used a sheet that had been fastened to the door, he said. Shuler’s cellmate was not in the cell at the time, he said.
Detention staffers immediately began lifesaving efforts but were unable to revive Shuler, Linder said.
Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death, and a coroner’s inquest will be scheduled later, Linder said. The last suicide at the jail happened in 2004.