TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Vigo County Sheriff John Plasse reported Friday that shortly before 7 a.m. an inmate of the Vigo County Jail collapsed in a cell block from what appeared to be a medical episode. The inmate was identified as Frederick Whitlock, 56.
Jail personnel responded immediately and Whitlock was transported to Terre Haute Regional Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
A preliminary investigation produced no evidence of trauma or foul play and medical reports attribute the death to natural causes. Medical personnel determined, however, that Whitlock was COVID-19 positive.
Immediate steps were initiated to test and quarantine individuals in the cell block. An autopsy was completed Friday and a final cause of death will be determined by the Coroner’s Office. The Sheriff’s Office will continue its investigation pending receipt of the final autopsy report.
Whitlock was sentenced to 22 years in prison in November on charges of aggravated battery and invasion of privacy. He was arrested in May of 2019 following an investigation into a stabbing that left two people hospitalized. According to authorities, a female victim had been stabbed “numerous times in the abdomen and leg and was bleeding profusely.” A second victim, a male, had been stabbed once in his side.