Updated August 3, 2012: The Joplin police department says an inmate who was found deceased in his jail cell died of natural causes.
Statement from the Joplin Police Department:
An autopsy conducted today in Columbia showed a preliminary cause of death as natural causes for a deceased inmate found yesterday in his cell.
On 08/02/12 at approximately 06:17 hours a detention officer conducting a routine cell check discovered a deceased male inmate. Mark L Willis, age 50 of Joplin was pronounced dead at the scene. Willis was in a cell by himself. There were no obvious signs of foul play or suicide.
Posted August 2, 2012: A detention officer conducting a routine cell check discovered Mark Willis deceased in his Joplin jail cell.
Authorities say Willis, age 50, was in a cell by himself and there were no signs of foul play or suicide and they are conducting an investigation.
"There is nothing to suggest any type of foul play, however, obviously we're going to do as much checking as we can and await the results of the autopsy before we conclude the investigation," says Lt. Darren Gallup.
Results from the investigation are expected within the next couple of weeks.