Sheriff's Office reports death of Siskiyou jail inmate

Staff Writer
Mount Shasta Herald

The Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office says it was notified today that inmate Mathew R. Baker died in the Oregon hospital where he was admitted after he was found hanging in the Siskiyou County Jail on Sept. 3.

The Sheriff’s Office states in a news release that Baker, who was being held on a charge of murder and related charges, “was found hanging from a self-improvised ligature.”

Baker, age 27, was found unconscious by correctional deputies shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday, according to the release, “but he remained alive after emergency treatment was administered by jail staff, responding emergency medical responders and medical professionals at Fairchild Medical Center and later, Rogue Valley Medical Center in Medford, Oregon.”

Most recently from Spokane, Wash., Baker was charged March 2, 2015 with the murder of 60 year old Dale Bowen, who lived on Birch Lane near Truck Village Drive south of Weed.

The Sheriff’s Office says Baker was the subject of a multi-agency, multi-jurisdictional manhunt that ended with his arrest in Talent, Ore. on the same day he allegedly committed the crime.

A forensic autopsy is scheduled this week, according to the Sheriff’s Office, “and the results will help investigators determine the cause and manner of (Baker’s) death. Evidence and investigative findings have thus far indicated that Mr. Baker was alone at the time he was discovered unconscious and no evidence exists that implicates another inmate in the incident.”

Sheriff Jon Lopey states in the release, “On behalf of the Siskiyou County Sheriff’s Office, we’d like to extend our condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Baker. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank all emergency medical responders and hospital staffs in Yreka and Medford for the care they provided to Mr. Baker. The hospital staffs at both hospitals also provided excellent support to the Siskiyou and Jackson County Sheriff’s Offices and family of the deceased.”

The investigation of the incident is expected to take several more days to complete “and must be thoroughly reviewed at various levels,” according to the Sheriff’s Office release.