CIRCLEVILLE — An inmate being held at the Pickaway County Jail was found hanging in his jail cell early Monday morning.
According to the Pickaway County Sheriff’s Office, Matthew A. Bahr, 36, of Reynoldsburg, was found by a corrections officer during a routine check at 12:29 a.m. Allegedly, Bahr committed suicide by hanging himself using his own bedding.
Corrections officers began efforts to revive Bahr and called Circleville EMS to the jail. Bahr was pronounced dead later by Pickaway County Coroner Dr. John A. Ellis at OhioHealth Berger Hospital.
Pickaway County Sheriff Robert Radcliff called Bahr’s death a tragedy and said he felt terrible for his family.
“Anytime there’s a death it’s a tragedy for the family members,” he said. “Those are the victims of this, not to take anything away from the victim of the crime.”
Radcliff said counseling has been provided to the officers in the jail that responded.
“People overlook the affect it has on the staff,” Radcliff said. “We have a young staff of officers and they did their job. They did their checks; they found him and immediately called for help and did CPR. These are 19, 20-year-old kids that may have never seen anyone that’s passed on. To go in like they did to get the squad there and go in.”
“Our staff does a tremendous job and there’s nothing they could have done differently,” he added. “The coroner investigates it as a death and we’ve assigned a detective to look over everything and make sure our staff didn’t do anything improper and there’s been no indication of anything.”
Radcliff said there was no indication from their discussion that he was going to do it.
“If someone wants to do it they’re going to find a way to do it,” Radcliff continued. “Our staff is trained on what to watch for and we have a set of questions when they’re booked in and at any given time we have six or seven people on suicide watch on any given day. A lot of it has to do with the drug issue and today’s world.”
Radcliff said he was fortunate during his time as jail administrator to never have a suicide but that is rather uncommon.
“That was just luck,” he stated. “That’s not that we’re doing anything differently, it’s that the people we’re handling are different.”
According to court records, Bahr was facing one county of gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony following an arrest in late August. Following his death the court case against him has been closed.
Bahr’s family has been contacted and his death is currently still under investigation.