PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Authorities have identified the Berkshire County House of Corrections inmate who died Sunday as Stavri Yanka, 34, of Adams.
Yanka was found unresponsive in his cell at approximately 4:30 p.m. on Sunday. Correctional staff called 911 and attempted lifesaving measures. County Ambulance transported Yanka to Berkshire Medical Center, where a doctor pronounced him deceased.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner took custody of Yanka's body and performed an autopsy on Monday and determined the cause of death to be asphyxiation and the manner of death as suicide, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.
"I send my condolences to Mr. Yanka's family, friends during this very difficult time. I thank House of Correction staff for their response and attempts to save Mr. Yanka's life and the State Police Detective Unit for their investigation into the matter," District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.
"I want anyone who may have suicidal ideations to know that there are people who care and support you and will help you."
The sheriff's office booked Yanka into the facility on Thursday, Nov. 4, after Adams Police arrested him on felony breaking and entering in the nighttime charges.
Yanka was awaiting trial on an assault and battery on a family member charge when Adams Police arrested him and the court ordered Yanka to be detained for violating his conditions of release on the pending matter at the arraignment on Friday.
According to the district attorney's office, corrections staff performed mental health and medical screenings on Yanka when he entered the facility and that he did not exhibit an elevated risk of harming himself.
The investigation remains open. The DA's Office and state police are still reviewing video surveillance, incident reports, other evidence, and conducting formal interviews with those involved.
The following helplines are available to help anyone experiencing a mental health crisis and/or contemplating suicide:
Brien Center: Call 1-800-252-0227 to talk to a trained, local crisis counselor 24/7.
Crisis Text Line: Text NAMI to 741-741 to receive support from a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
Department of Mental Health (DMH): Local crisis line available 24/7. Call (413) 499-0412.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
The Trevor Project: Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678 to speak with a LGBTQ+ Youth specialized crisis counselor 24/7.
Trans Lifeline: Provides support specifically for transgender and questioning callers. Crisis support & guidance, call 1-877-565-8860 between 10 a.m. -4 p.m.
Teen Line: Teens helping teens. Text TEEN to 839-863 between 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
Veterans Crisis Line: Available to anyone, even if you are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. Call 1-800- 273-8255 (then press 1), or text 838- 255. For Deaf or Hard of Hearing, call: 1-800-799-4889. Available 24/7
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Police are investigating the death of a person detained at the Berkshire County House of Correction.
Members of the Berkshire County Sheriff's Office discovered an unresponsive detainee shortly after 4 p.m on Sunday, Nov. 7.
County Ambulance responded and transported the individual to Berkshire Medical Center, where doctors later pronounced the individual deceased.
The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner took custody of the decedent to determine the cause and manner of death. The early evidence suggests that the death is a result of self-harm and investigators do not currently suspect any foul play.
The Berkshire State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office, Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the Berkshire District Attorney responded to the scene and are leading a full investigation into the death.