Oahu prison employee found dead in dining hall bathroom

HONOLULU (AP) — A staff cook supervisor at an Oahu prison was found dead in a dining hall bathroom Monday, Department of Public Safety officials said.

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported that Halawa Correctional Facility officials did not provide a cause of death or say whether foul play was suspected.

State public safety officials identified the man as 37-year-old Darwin Fernandez.

They said the death is under investigation and a coroner will make a final determination.

Public safety officials said the employee was found unconscious in a staff bathroom. The prison’s medical staff responded and confirmed the man had died.

Officials said the bathroom is for staff use only.

The death comes two weeks after a controversial Senate confirmation of Nolan Espinda to continue to head the Department of Public Safety, which has come under fire amid numerous internal and external investigations.

“We are fully cooperating with our law enforcement partners as they investigate the death and acknowledge that they need to be able to do their jobs without speculation from us on the how’s and why’s surrounding this tragic situation,” said Espinda in a statement Tuesday.