A Nigerian, Anthony Akinyemi, facing deportation has died in the custody of the US Immigration and Enforcement (ICE).
The ICE said in in a statement on its website on Tuesday that Mr Akinyemi died at the Worcester County Jail in Snow Hill, Maryland, on December 21.
It said the preliminary cause of death “appears to be self-inflicted strangulation”, adding that the case is under investigation.
The 56-year-old was facing deportation to Nigeria for sexual abuse of a minor, the ICE said.
Akinyemi was pronounced dead at 5:23 am local time on Saturday after he was found unresponsive in his cell.
Efforts by facility staff and emergency personnel to revive him were unsuccessful.
The Nigerian had been in ICE custody less than 24 hours after being admitted on December 20, one day after he was convicted in Baltimore City Circuit Court for a sex offence and assault.
ICE had previously lodged an immigration detainer against Akinyemi on July 23, 2019, pursuant to his arrest for sexual abuse of a minor.
Akinyemi is said to have entered the US lawfully on a non-immigrant visa in December 2017 but failed to comply with the terms of his admission.
“At the time of his death, Akinyemi was in removal proceedings before the federal immigration courts,” ICE said.