CAPE GIRARDEAU — An investigation is under way after a 55-year-old Cape Girardeau man was found hanging in a holding room.
The body of Lawrence Adolphe Thompson III was found at about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. He had been involved in a single-car accident the previous night and was in the holding room at police headquarters pending charges of driving while intoxicated.
An officer checked on Thompson hourly, police said, in accordance with department policy. He appeared fine at 3:50 a.m.
But the Southeast Missourian reports that 40 minutes later, an officer discovered the body hanging from the latticework of the ceiling. The noose had been fashioned out of clothing.
A coroner's inquest is planned for Sept. 22 because the death occurred while Thompson was in custody. The inquest will be used to determine if foul play was involved and help decide the cause of death.
Police Chief Carl Kinnison has also asked the Missouri State Highway Patrol to conduct an investigation. Police plan an internal investigation to make sure policies were properly followed, Sgt. Barry Hovis said.
Department policy dictates that any person placed in the temporary holding room may keep all personal items, with the exception of weapons and controlled substances, Hovis said. That person surrenders all items, including clothing, when transferred to the city jail upstairs in the same building.
Hovis said there are no guidelines that indicate how long a person can remain in the holding room, but some accused of DWI are allowed to sober up before being moved to the jail.