In-custody death being investigated

SEBRING -- A 75-year-old inmate at the Highlands County Detention Facility has died after experiencing an apparent medical issue.

David Lloyd Kay (DOB 2/09/1948) was pronounced dead by EMS at 11:39 p.m. after life-saving measures failed. A death investigation is being conducted by the Highlands County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Unit and the Tenth Judicial Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office.

Kay was booked into the detention facility on Aug. 16 for failure to register as a sexual offender and was placed in an open dorm with approximately 50 other inmates in what can be described as general population. Kay, who had medical issues, was seen by medical staff at the detention facility multiple times during the few weeks he was in custody.

At approximately 10:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 7, Kay is seen on video walking to the bathroom area of his assigned dorm. About 30 minutes later, he is seen on video contacting the detention deputy working that post and requesting to see medical staff for a breathing machine, which was a regular part of his medical treatment. He was escorted from the dorm and walked to a common area approximately 40 feet away, where he sat in a chair. At 11:11 p.m., medical staff arrived and Kay began using the breathing machine.

A few minutes later, an inmate worker cleaning in that area reported seeing Kay seated in the chair with his head leaning back and unresponsive. The inmate worker immediately notified the detention deputies, who were just steps away, and deputies immediately removed Kay from the chair and provided medical attention. Medical staff arrived back to the area quickly, and assisted with lifesaving measures, which included CPR and the use of an AED. Lifesaving attempts by detention facility staff continued until Highlands County EMS arrived on scene at approximately 11:20 p.m. and took over treatment, which continued until he was pronounced deceased at 11:39 p.m.

Kay was transported to the Tenth Judicial Circuit Medical Examiner’s Office to determine his cause of death.

David Lloyd Kay