Deceased Shawnee County inmate identified, cause believed to be medical

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Shawnee County Department of Corrections officials have identified an inmate who died in custody Wednesday morning.

The Department of Corrections identified the woman Thursday morning. Ruth Spence, 55 of Topeka, was found unresponsive in her Shawnee County Jail cell around noon. She was then taken to a local hospital where she was pronounced dead.

A spokesperson for the Shawnee County DOC said the cause of death seems to be a medical condition, and no violence or self-harm was apparent in Spence’s passing.

Spence was being held in the jail on misdemeanor charges.

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