Detectives investigate death of Polk County Jail inmate

Michael Neupert died early Saturday at Bartow Regional Medical Center

Michael Neupert (Polk County Sheriff's Office)

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – Detectives with the Polk County Sheriff's Office are investigating the early Saturday death of a Polk County Jail inmate at Bartow Regional Medical Center.

The Sheriff's Office said Michael Neupert, 55, of Lakeland, was in jail for failure to register as a sex offender. He was arrested on that charge May 23.

Neupert's previous charges include 31 counts of possession of child pornography, violation of probation, failure to register as a sex offender and driving while license is suspended or revoked, the Sheriff's Office said.

Neupert has had a history of multiple medical issues. Deputies said they include diabetes, hypertension, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and a recent cerebral vascular ischemia, or insufficient blood flow.

Neupert was observed unresponsive in his bunk in the jail's infirmary at 2:35 a.m. Saturday, deputies said.

Neupert was last checked on by a registered nurse at 2:25 a.m., 10 minutes prior to him being found unresponsive. Deputies said he had been awake and interacting with the nurse at the time, and had been alert and responsive throughout the previous evening.

Jail medical staff and deputies dialed 911 and began CPR after finding Neupert unresponsive, deputies said. When emergency medical services arrived, they took over CPR and took Neupert to Bartow Regional Medical Center.

Deputies said Neupert could not be revived by the hospital staff and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

On Aug. 12, Neupert had been taken from the jail and admitted to the Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center because of his declining health, deputies said. He was treated and released from the medical center Thursday and taken back to the jail, where he was housed in the infirmary.

Deputies said an autopsy is tentatively scheduled for Monday to determine the cause and manner of death.

This is an ongoing death investigation, the Sheriff's Office said.

"It is standard PCSO policy for four separate mandated, independent investigations to be conducted when an inmate dies," the Sheriff's Office said. "The PCSO Administrative Investigations Section is conducting an internal review. The PCSO Bureau of Criminal Investigations is conducting the death investigation. The Polk County Medical Examiner will conduct the autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death."

The Sheriff's Office said all of the investigative findings and documents will be forwarded to the state attorney's office for its review.