The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Crime & Courts

August 3, 2012

Man found dead in jail cell; no foul play cited

An autopsy has been ordered in the death of an inmate at the Joplin City Jail.

A detention officer making routine cell checks at 6:17 a.m. Thursday found Mark L. Willis, 50, dead inside his cell. A news release from the Joplin Police Department said Willis was the lone occupant of the cell at the time, and there were no obvious signs of either foul play or suicide.

Police are investigating the death, and an autopsy is expected to be conducted today by a medical examiner in Columbia.

Willis had been arrested on a charge of stealing and on a warrant for failure to appear in court on a previous charge of stealing.

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