LEE COUNTY, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — A prison inmate has taken his life at East Arkansas Regional Unit (EARU) on Tuesday, January 5.

The Arkansas Department of Corrections (ADC) Communications Director Cindy Murphy said Billy Ray Jones (#161430), 30, was found hanging in a locked single-man cell.

Responding correctional officers and medical staff were unable to detect a pulse. Jones was pronounced dead at 3:31 a.m.

The Arkansas State Police (ASP) was notified and responded to the unit.

ASP will be conducting an investigation into the death and the Division of Correction will be conducting an internal investigation into the death.

In 2020, six inmates committed suicide, in 2019 there were 11, according to the ADC.