BAKER CITY, OR -- A Baker County Jail inmate has died in a manner eerily similar to a death at the Deschutes County Jail in December. Authorities say 28-year-old Joshua Pantle, of Baker City, died while in custody on May 9. According to Oregon State Police, Pantle was arrested and booked at the Baker County Jail Saturday afternoon. Within a couple of hours, he showed signs of medical distress, and staff called for an ambulance. He was taken to a local hospital, where he later died.
An autopsy revealed the remnants of a plastic-type baggy in his stomach. His death has been ruled a methamphetamine overdose.
Pantle's death mirrors a December incident in Deschutes County, now under investigation by federal authorities. Edwin Mays died while in custody at the Deschutes County Jail, December 14. An autopsy revealed high levels of meth in Mays' system, and Sheriff Larry Blanton has speculated the 31-year-old Bend man may have ingested the drugs in an effort to conceal them from arresting officers.