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Inmate from Washington County found dead in Umatilla prison

A Washington County prison inmate died unexpectedly in state custody Sunday morning, May 1.

According to the Oregon Department of Corrections, Tomas Vejar-Garcia, 76, was found unresponsive in his cell at the Two Rivers Correctional Institution in Umatilla at 7:53 a.m. on May 1.

As with all unanticipated deaths in state prisons, the Oregon State Police Criminal Investigation Division is conducting an investigation, state officials said.

Vejar-Garcia entered state custody on June 1, 2012, on two counts of sex abuse in the first degree out of Washington County. His earliest release date was June 6, 2016.

The next of kin has been notified. No other details were immediately released.

The DOC says the TRCI is a multi-custody prison that houses approximately 1,800 male inmates. TRCI participates in prison industries with Oregon Corrections Enterprises including institution and industrial laundry, mattress manufacturing, and sewing. Other institution work programs include reparation and cleaning of irrigation ditches, maintenance of local baseball fields, and work with local cities and the Hermiston School District. It opened in 2000.