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Santa Cruz inmate dies during drug detox

A 23-year-old woman died while in custody Tuesday morning at the Santa Cruz County Jail, a sheriff’s spokesman said today.

A correctional officer found Krista Deluca, of Santa Cruz, in medical distress at 6:51 a.m. Medical personnel attempted stabilize her but she was pronounced dead at 7:28 a.m.

Deluca was being housed in the jail infirmary, where sheriff’s Lt.

Kelly Kent said the woman was being closely monitored by medical and corrections staff while undergoing drug detoxification.

Deluca was arrested Thursday at 11:45 p.m. by Capitola police. She was taken into custody after a traffic stop on suspicion of being under the influence of drugs, possessing drug paraphernalia and having five outstanding warrants.

According to Santa Cruz County Jail records, one of Deluca’s previous violations included bringing a controlled substance into prison.

Kent said coroner’s investigators had been called to the scene and there was no evidence of criminal activity or suspicious circumstances in her death today.

An autopsy to determine the cause of death has already been conducted, but Kent said the results have not been fully processed or reviewed.

Kent said the safety of incarcerated individuals is a top priority. The incident will be closely reviewed to ensure all procedures and protocols were followed.

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