Montrose, CO—In the early morning hours of August 18, 2017, an inmate was found unresponsive in his cell at the Montrose County Jail. Multiple attempts at resuscitation by Montrose County Jail deputies, the Montrose Fire Protection District EMS Personnel, and the Emergency Room staff at Montrose Memorial Hospital were all unsuccessful. An autopsy was performed at the order of the Montrose County Coroner. The decedent is Robert James Lee Petersen, 26-year-old male, of Uma, Arizona, previously of Ridgway, Colorado. The cause of death is asphyxiation due to compression of the neck secondary to hanging, and the official manner of death is suicide. The continued investigation is being handled by the Montrose County Coroner's Office of Medical Investigations and the Seventh Judicial District's Critical Incident Team.
Dr. Thomas M. Canfield, MD