Dept. of Juvenile Justice investigating death - - Columbia, South Carolina |

3 DJJ employees suspended after teen commits suicide

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Three South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice employees have been suspended following the death of an inmate on Sunday.

A spokesperson for the agency says a 16-year-old male from Anderson County took his own life while detained at DJJ's detention center.

Loretta Neal said DJJ has initiated an internal investigation and has also referred the matter to the State Law Enforcement Division.

Richland County Coroner Gary Watts says staff members found the boy hanging in his cell just before midnight Sunday. The teen was taken to Lexington Medical Center, where he died a short time later.

Watts ruled the death a suicide.

After a preliminary review, three employees were placed on suspension while the matter is fully investigated, said Neal.

"Any time a young person dies it is a tragedy, especially under circumstances like this," said Neal. "DJJ extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of the young man."

The teen was being held on an adult charge of first degree burglary.

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