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Two Tippecanoe County Jail inmates die from unrelated medical issues on same day

Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said 42-year-old Isaiah Powe died at Franciscan Health, and 56-year-old Bonny Ahlrich died later Saturday at the jail.

Posted: Jan. 13, 2019 7:52 PM
Updated: Jan. 14, 2019 10:00 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) -- Two inmates in the Tippecanoe County Jail died Saturday from unrelated medical issues, Sheriff Bob Goldsmith said. The sheriff said 42-year-old Isaiah Powe died at Franciscan Health, and 56-year-old Bonny Ahlrich died later at the jail.

Powe, who is homeless, was found unresponsive in his jail cell mid-morning, Goldsmith said. Ahlrich, also homeless, died in her cell in the holding area of the jail later in the day. 

Goldsmith said the two deaths appear unrelated. He also said there does not appear to be signs of foul play. 

Powe was in jail for criminal confinement and was charged with unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. Goldsmith said he was booked on Jan. 12 at 2:54 a.m., the same day he died. Goldsmith said Powe "never woke up" after being found. 

In February of 2018, an arrest warrant was issued for him for unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, felon in possession of a handgun with a previous felony conviction, criminal recklessness with a deadly weapon, carrying a handgun without a license, criminal trespass with a prior conviction, and criminal trespass.

Ahrlrich was booked on Jan. 4. According to Lafayette police records, she was arrested after being wanted on a warrant for failure to appear. She was arrested in the 600 block of Tippecanoe Street.

Goldsmith said she was found in the afternoon by medical staff during a routine check. Goldsmith was unsure if she was on medication, or why the staff checked on her. 

According to Goldsmith, K9s from Lafayette police, West Lafayette police, Purdue police, Tippecanoe County Community Corrections and the sheriff's office swept the jail. No signs of narcotics were found.

Counselors will be available for jail staff and inmates, according to Goldsmith. Families have been notified. 

Autopsies are scheduled for Monday.

This story will be updated.

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