An inmate from Los Banos facing child abuse charges was found dead Tuesday morning at the John Latorraca Correctional Facility in Merced County after an apparent suicide, according to the Merced County Sheriff’s Department.
Sgt. Delray Shelton said the incident was reported Tuesday morning at the jail just outside El Nido at 2584 W. Sandy Mush Road.
Javier Lopez, 36, of Los Banos, was found by inmates in the shower area of his jail dormitory, after he apparently hanged himself, Shelton said.
Los Banos Police Cmdr. Jason Hedden said Lopez was arrested May 5 on suspicion of continuous sexual abuse, oral copulation on a person under 10 and lewd and lascivious acts with a child. Lopez had been in custody on $1 million bond, according to jail records.
The Merced County Sheriff’s Department immediately opened an investigation into Lopez’s death.
Shelton said, “The investigation is open and active, and deemed a priority.”
No further details are being provided at this time but, Shelton said, information will be released as it becomes available.
To leave an anonymous crime tip call (209) 827-7070 ext. 288. If you have access to a computer and the Internet, you can also leave an anonymous tip at the Police Department’s webpage at www.losbanos.org. At the bottom of the “Contact” page, simply click on the “report graffiti and other crime” link or contact the Merced Area Crime Stoppers by telephone at 1(855) 725-2420 or at www.mercedareacrimestoppers.org.