News Releases

Posted on: April 15, 2023

Inmate Death

News Release

A Manhattan woman passed away this morning while confined in the Riley County Jail.

At this time, we believe the death was caused by suicide.

Laura Pearce, 38, was found unresponsive in her single cell by Corrections Officers at 8:24 a.m. who immediately began lifesaving measures. Riley County EMS was dispatched at 8:26 a.m. and arrived at 8:32 a.m. After lifesaving measures were continued by paramedics, Pearce was pronounced dead on scene at 8:52 a.m.

Per state statute, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation (KBI) will be the lead agency investigating the death.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to Ms. Pearce’s family and friends during this terrible time,” RCPD Director Brian Peete said. “We are actively working with the KBI to provide all the information they need for a thorough investigation. I am proud of our Corrections staff and the EMS team who did their best to try and save Ms. Pearce.”

No evidence of foul play has been found at this time.

Pearce was extradited to the Riley County Jail on March 25, 2023, after being arrested in Marion County, Ohio on her Riley County District Court warrant for aggravated interference with parental custody.

Any additional questions should be directed to Melissa Underwood, Communications Director with the KBI at (785) 296-8283.

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