Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Police Investigation sought for homeless man who allegedly died in Burlington County Jail

Update:  Response received from police:

February 4, 2014
      
Mr. Paff,

I have reviewed you’re the attached letter and will be following up with the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office.  My department responded to secure the scene and once the BCPO arrived the scene was turned over to them as they have jurisdiction in investigating the Burlington County Jail incidents.

Thank and I appreciate it.

Steve

Steven E. Martin
Chief of Police
Mount Holly Twp. Police Dept.
23 Washington Street
Mount Holly, NJ  08060
O: 609-845-1150
F: 609-845-1175
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February 4, 2014

Steven E. Martin , Director of Public Safety
Mount Holly Police
23 Washington Street
Mount Holly, NJ  08060
Via e-mail only to smartin@mountholly.info

Dear Director Martin:

I found a letter on-line (click here) from an inmate at the Burlington County Jail, which I understand is located within your jurisdiction.  As you can see, the letter writer, Inmate Sean C. Turzanski, states that a 74-year-old homeless man named Robert Taylor died while in custody. 

According to Turzanski's letter, Taylor, an alcoholic, was thrown naked, except for a suicide prevention vest, onto the cell's concrete floor and allowed to urinate and defecate on himself.  According to Turzanski's letter, Taylor remained in the same position on the jail cell's floor and did not take any meals for five days.  The letter states that Taylor was found dead on December 30, 2013. "They opened his cell to find him dead.  5 days, 15 meals, no water and still lying on the concrete floor naked where he was initially placed."

I have no idea whether Turzanski's statements are accurate.  But, the seriousness of the allegations, together with the fact that Turzanski has identified himself (and is available to be interviewed), warrants an investigation.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.  Please contact me if you have any questions.

Very truly yours,

John Paff
P.O. Box 5424
Somerset, NJ  08875
Voice: 732-873-1251
Fax: 908-325-0129
e-mail: paff@pobox.com