CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE — An autopsy has determined heart problems caused the death of an inmate at the Cape May County jail Sunday, but authorities also said it happened shortly after an altercation with another inmate.

John McElroy, 45, was found to be in “medical distress” Sunday in the common area of the center, known as the day room, immediately after the scuffle with another inmate.

“Shortly afterward, McElroy began complaining of having chest pain and became unresponsive,” a press release from Sheriff Gary Schaffer and Prosecutor Robert Taylor said Tuesday.

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The statement said the autopsy found the cause of death to be cardiovascular disease. The manner of death was listed as “natural.”

Schaffer and Taylor said that concluded the investigation into the death. The Press of Atlantic City has filed an Open Public Records Request to get more details.

McElroy had been jailed since Aug. 15 on a contempt charge out of Lower Township. He was being held without bail.

Correctional officers performed potentially lifesaving measures on McElroy, including the use of a defibrillator and CPR. McElroy was pronounced dead at Cape Regional Medical Center in Cape May Court House.

Contact Richard Degener:

609-463-6711

RDegener@pressofac.com

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