Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Three employees of the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice have been suspended following the death of a teenager in the agency's custody.
The agency announced the suspensions Monday night following the results of a preliminary review into the incident. The suspensions be in effect while an investigation takes place.
The 16-year-old was found dead at the juvenile justice center's Columbia campus around 11:45 p.m. Sunday. The coroner's office concluded he hanged himself.
At the time of the incident, the teen was by himself in his cell.
The detainee, who was from Anderson County, had been booked there on a burglary charge.
In addition to the internal probe, DJJ has also referred the matter to the State Law Enforcement Division.
"Any time a young person dies it is a tragedy, especially under circumstances like this," DJJ officials said in a statement. "DJJ extends its deepest sympathy and condolences to the family of the young man."