EAST MADISON — Somerset County Jail officials say it may be weeks before they can establish what killed an inmate found dead in his cell this week.

An autopsy performed Wednesday on Joseph F. Daoust, who died in Somerset County Jail, was inconclusive and more testing is needed, the jail administrator said Thursday.

Daoust, 27, of Wilton, was being held on drug trafficking and criminal threatening charges originating in Franklin County, said administrator Maj. Cory Swope of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Department.

A corrections officer found Daoust unresponsive during a routine security check shortly before 2 a.m. Wednesday. His body was taken to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner in Augusta, where the autopsy was performed.

“After the autopsy yesterday there was no definitive cause, so that’s going to lead to additional tests,” Swope said Thursday. “I would probably anticipate not hearing anything for the next couple weeks until we hear back from the ME’s office after toxicology reports that they’ll do.”

Swope said the death is not considered to be suspicious and no foul play is suspected. He would not say if it appeared to be a suicide


Daoust, who was a boarder from the Franklin County jail, was in a cell by himself. He arrived at the Somerset County Jail in East Madison on May 16.

Corrections officers and medical staff performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Daoust, Swope said. Redington-Fairvew General Hospital EMS, was dispatched from Skowhegan to the jail.

“Corrections staff and emergency personnel were unsuccessful in their attempts to revive Mr. Daoust,” Swope said in a prepared statement. “He was pronounced deceased at the Somerset County Jail.”

Swope said Daoust couldn’t make $10,000 bail after his arrest and was awaiting trial on three charges — two counts of aggravated trafficking in illegal drugs, both class C felonies, punishable by up to five years in prison on each count, and criminal threatening with a firearm, a class B felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Swope said the crimes are alleged to have happened in Wilton. He said Daoust was housed by himself because corrections officers had yet to determine his classification, medical condition, charges and security level required for placement in general population at the jail.

According to Somerset County Jail protocol, Maine State Police detectives were called to the scene to investigate the death. Reports will be submitted to the Department of Corrections.

The Wilton Police Department notified Daoust’s family.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367 | [email protected] | Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

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