21 Nov 2005
San Diego, California (USA)
Died in custody
TDoR list ref: tdor.info/21 Nov 2005/Vanessa Facen
Vanessa died after four days on life support while in the custody of San Diego Sheriff's Department. Deputies had manhandled and detained her during being found during what was described as an attempted robbery at a neighbour's home.
A transsexual woman stopped breathing during a melee with sheriff’s deputies at the downtown jail Nov. 17 and died after four days on life support, authorities confirmed yesterday.
The determination of the cause of death is pending while the Medical Examiner’s Office awaits toxicology results. Details from the preliminary autopsy report were not released.
“There is nothing to indicate that the use of force caused this death,” said Sgt. Rick Empson, a sheriff’s homicide investigator.
Vanessa Facen, 35, had fought with deputies and medical personnel numerous times since she was found naked and bleeding inside her neighbor’s townhome in Spring Valley about 5:30 a.m. Nov. 17, the Sheriff’s Department said.
The neighbors told deputies Facen apparently climbed onto the balcony of their duplex on Terracina Circle near Ildica Way. She dived through their glass door and tumbled down a flight of stairs.
Facen, who was “covered with blood from head to toe,” opened the door for deputies, told them she was HIV-positive and appeared to be cooperating, Sgt. Paul Robbins of the Lemon Grove Sheriff’s station said