Inmate Death Reported At Riley County Jail

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

At this time, RCPD believes 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.

“Our sincerest condolences go out to Ms. Pearce’s family and friends during this terrible time,” said Director Brian Peete. “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.

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

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.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2020 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.


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