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ICE detainee dies at Phoenix hospital

Eloy Detention

A Guatemalan man in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) died early on Dec. 23 at a Phoenix, AZ, hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for diabetes complications.

In a Dec. 26 statement, ICE said 34-year-old Manuel Cota-Domingo, a detainee at the Eloy Detention Center, was rushed to Florence Anthem Hospital in Florence, AZ, on Dec. 20 after complaining of chest pains and labored breathing. Physicians at the hospital, said ICE, determined Cota-Domingo was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, an emergency condition caused by untreated hyperglycemia.

On Dec. 22, Cota-Domingo was transferred by air ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, where he was placed in the intensive care unit, said the agency. Hospital staff notified ICE officials that Cota-Domingo passed away Dec. 23 just before 1 a.m., it said.

According to ICE, Cota-Domingo had recently crossed the border unlawfully. He was transferred to ICE custody after U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered him near Sasabe, AZ. He had been detained at the Eloy Detention Center since Dec. 12, pending his removal to Guatemala, which ICE said was scheduled for Dec. 26. According to ICE, Cota-Domingo received two routine medical screenings while at the Eloy detention facility, but he didn’t disclose his health condition to medical staff until he became ill.

ICE said it advised the Guatemalan consulate that Cota-Domingo had been admitted to the hospital and provided consular officials with regular updates regarding his condition. Consular officials notified Cota-Domingo's next of kin in Guatemala of his death.

 ICE said Cota-Domingo is the first detainee to pass away in its custody in fiscal 2013.