A man died in the Montezuma County Detention Center Wednesday morning.
Michael McMordie, 33, of Cortez, passed away in his cell between 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m., said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.
McMordie was arrested Tuesday evening by Cortez police on a warrant, he said. Following his arrest, a pipe and methamphetamine were found on him.
Nowlin said after being placed in his cell, jailers checked on McMordie every half hour
“At the 1:30 check he was found not breathing and unresponsive. CPR was performed, but he could not be revived,” he said.
The death is under investigation, Nowlin said, and an autopsy will be performed this week by the coroner’s office. He said “there was no indication of distress” when McMordie was being booked.
He was arrested on a municipal warrant at a residence on Second Street, said Cortez Police Patrol Sgt. Rex Brinkerhoff. The warrant was for failing to appear in court for a trespassing charge.
Police were alerted to McMordie’s location after he made “strange calls” to Cortez Dispatch, Brinkerhoff said.
Officers were sent to the residence for a welfare check, he said, and were informed he had an active warrant. McMordie was cooperative during the arrest, and there was no indication of alcohol use.
“The jail staff are in a somber mood,” Nowlin said.
McMordie, who moved here from Albuquerque, was known to local law enforcement for various crimes, officials said.
In July 2017, he was seen driving an Albuquerque Police Department vehicle in Montezuma County that had been reported stolen.
After an attempt by a deputy to pull him over, McMordie led police on a high speed chase on Colorado Highway 184 and U.S. Highway 491. He avoided spike strips placed near Cortez, then crashed into McElmo Creek. Hazardous materials suspected to be on his clothes caused the Montezuma County Detention Center to be shut down for decontamination.