Officials with the Oneida County Sheriff's Office have announced the investigation into the death of an inmate at Oneida County Jail.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says 56-year-old Ronald Pierce of Utica was found unresponsive just before 8AM Monday. Maciol says Pierce was discovered by correctional officers during routine tours of the facility. Maciol says those officers immediately began life saving measures, along with medical staff.

An ambulance was called to transport Pierce to St. Elizabeth Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at approximately 9AM. Following Pierce's death, his body was transported to the Onondaga County Medical Examiner's Office to determine an official cause of death, according to officials. While the death of Pierce initially appears to be medical in nature, a formal investigation must be conducted to determine the cause for sure.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says,

Since April 1st of this year, the Office of Special Investigations within the Attorney General’s Office requires an investigation into the death of anyone who is in the custody of a police or peace officer anywhere in New York State.

In addition to an investigation being conducted by the Sheriff's Office, independent investigations are also being conducted by the New York State Commission of Corrections and the New York State Attorney General’ s Office. As the probe is underway, there will be no further details revealed at this time.

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