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Inmate dies at Purgatory Correctional Facility; investigation underway

Russell Dwain McGonigle
Posted at 3:40 PM, May 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-19 17:40:43-04

HURRICANE, Utah — The Washington County Attorney's Office Critical Incident Task Force is investigating the death of a 67-year-old inmate at Purgatory Correctional Facility.

According to a news release from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Russell Dwain McGonigle, of St. George, was found dead in the booking area of the jail on Monday morning.

McGonigle suffered from numerous health conditions and he had been scheduled to see a physician Monday, the news release said.

"Due to his pre-existing medical conditions, McGonigle was housed separately, limiting his contact with staff and other inmates," the news release said.

McGonigle's body has been sent to the Utah Office of the Medical Examiner for an autopsy. The autopsy will include a COVID-19 screening.

"Due to ongoing concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, The Sheriff’s Office feels it is important to clearly communicate that there is little evidence to support a correlation between the virus and his death investigation," the news release said.

McGonigle was booked into PCF on a federal hold.