Sheriff says former Ohio officer "hanged himself" in jail

Photo: Tye Downard

REYNOLDSBURG (WSYX) - Former Reynoldsburg Police Officer Tye Downard "hanged himself" while in custody, the Delaware County Sheriff's Office confirmed Monday morning.

"During hourly inmate checks, corrections officers discovered Downard had hanged himself in his single-person jail cell," the sheriff's office stated.

Downard, 43, was found dead in his jail cell about 1:30 a.m. Monday. Corrections officers and medical staff immediately rendered unsuccessful life-saving efforts, until medics arrived and transported Downard to Grady Memorial Hospital. DCSO is investigating the incident.

He was facing federal charges of possession of drugs with the intent to distribute.

Just days ago federal agents say Downard organized 21 drug sales since October 2015 with the same confidential informant. He was arrested by US Marshals on February 18 and taken to Delaware County Jail.

On January 8, the affidavit states, Downard gave the informant nearly two kilos of marijuana to sell; drugs which the department confiscated the day before in the bust of a marijuana growing operation. Authorities say he'd pocketed nearly $35,000 from those sales.

Possession with intent to distribute controlled substances is a crime punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

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