press release - 12301601

Notification of Inmate Death


UPDATED: 01/26/17


The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office is releasing the name of the inmate who had a cardiac related emergency at the Santa Barbara County Jail on December 26, 2016 and was pronounced dead at the hospital.  The decedent is 69-year-old Benjamin Karsokas of Isla Vista. His name was withheld until the Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office could locate next of kin. 


The decedent’s cause of death is pending the final report from the Forensic Pathologist. No indications of foul play were found during the investigation into the decedent’s death.




Santa Barbara- December 30th, 2016

At approximately 9:50 p.m. on December 26, 2016, a 69-year-old male inmate suffered a cardiac related medical emergency while incarcerated at the Santa Barbara County Jail.  He was in a dormitory housing area of the jail and was discovered by another inmate who notified Custody Staff for help.  While being transported by ambulance to Cottage Hospital, the decedent went unresponsive and life-saving procedures were performed. Upon his arrival to the emergency room, a Cottage Hospital emergency room doctor determined that the decedent was not responding to treatment and at 11:50 p.m. he was pronounced dead. 


The Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office is conducting a death investigation and an autopsy was performed.  While a final cause of death determination is pending toxicology results, preliminary indications are that the decedent appears to have died from natural causes.


The name of the decedent is not being released until next of kin is located and notified. He was booked into jail on December 22, 2016 by the Santa Barbara Police Department for a failure to appear warrant and on a charge of obstructing and resisting a public officer.


For Media Inquires Contact PIO Kelly Hoover


Business Hours: (805) 681-4100

Copyright 2016 Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office, All Rights Reserved