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Update: Snake River Correctional Institution Death Investigation Ruled a Homicide
05/15/2008
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

An investigation into a suspicious death on May 12th at the Snake River Correctional Institution has been confirmed by the Malheur County District Attorney as a homicide.
 
The Oregon State Police and the Malheur County District Attorney, working in cooperation with Oregon Department of Corrections, began the investigation after a deceased inmate identified as JAMES IVAN BRIGGS, age 61, was found deceased in his SRCI cell in Complex 1 on May 12, 2008 at approximately 6:52 a.m.
 
An autopsy was done May 14th at the Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office in Clackamas confirming the cause of death as homicide by ligature strangulation.
 
Investigators have confirmed there is a person of interest related to this case, but that name will not be released until the investigation is concluded at the direction of the District Attorney.
 
BRIGGS was received in the Department of Corrections Intake center on December 13, 2002 out of Coos County for convictions of Sexual Penetration, Sodomy and Sex Abuse in the First Degree. He had been at SRCI since January 15, 2003 and had a release date in 2026.

 
Questions related to SRCI and the deceased inmate can be directed to Ms. Amber Campbell, SRCI Public Information Officer, at (541) 881-5056.

 
Further information will be released upon approval of the Malheur County District Attorney's Office.  Investigative assistance provided by Malheur County Sheriff's Office and Ontario Police Department.