Medical examiner rules heart ailment caused inmate’s death

The Office of the State Medical Examiner in Manassas has determined the death of a Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail inmate earlier this month was a result of natural causes stemming from several heart ailments.

The inmate, Keith Vance Funk, 73, formerly of 683 Bowman Mill Road, Strasburg, was pronounced dead the night of July 8 at Warren Memorial Hospital after complaining an hour earlier in his jail cell that he was not feeling well.

RSW Jail Superintendent William T. Wilson has said members of the jail medical staff treated Funk on site and called an ambulance shortly afterward to take him to the hospital.

Funk was the first inmate to die in jail custody since it officially opened on July 1, 2014.

The medical examiner classified the manner of death as natural and attributable to a combination of “hypertensive and atherosclerotic and cardiovascular disease.” Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease was listed as a contributing factor.

Wilson said he was still awaiting reports from the jail staff and the Warren County Sheriff’s Office on Funk’s death before commenting on the incident. Wilson said a toxicology report is also pending.

“I really don’t have anything to add to that,” Wilson said of the medical examiner’s report.

Funk was jailed several days before his death after being arrested and charged with public drunkenness and battery against an emergency health provider. He was being held in the jail on $2,000 secured bond and awaiting a court appearance when he fell ill.

<p id=’reporter_info’>Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or <a href=’mailto:jbeck@nvdaily.com’>jbeck@nvdaily.com</a></p>