Apple Valley, California - A Guatemalan national in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) passed away late Wednesday at St. Mary Medical Center in Apple Valley after suffering a heart attack.

Jose Manuel Azurida-Hernandez, 54, was transferred from the Adelanto Detention Facility to the hospital December 19 after experiencing chest pains. Physicians at St. Mary Medical Center determined Azurida had suffered a heart attack. Efforts to treat his condition were unsuccessful and his health continued to deteriorate. Azurida was placed on life support and passed away Wednesday just before midnight.

ICE contacted Azurida’s family members following his hospitalization along with representatives from the Guatemalan consulate. Consistent with the agency’s protocols, the appropriate state health and local law enforcement agencies have been advised about the death, as have the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General and the ICE Office of Professional Responsibility. 

Azurida had been in ICE custody since June 22, following his release from the Wasco State Prison where he had been serving a 16-month sentence for attempted first degree robbery. As is the case with all ICE detainees, Azurida underwent a medical screening shortly after coming into ICE custody, which uncovered no serious health issues.

At the time of his death, Azurida’s removal case was pending with the immigration court under the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review. 

Azurida is the first detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2016.