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ICE detainee passes away at Phoenix hospital

PHOENIX — A Guatemalan man in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) passed away early Sunday at St. Joseph's Hospital, where he had been undergoing treatment for diabetes complications.

Manuel Cota-Domingo, 34, a detainee at the Eloy Detention Center, was rushed to Florence Anthem Hospital in Florence Dec. 20 after complaining of chest pains and labored breathing. Physicians at the hospital determined Cota-Domingo was suffering from diabetic ketoacidosis, an emergency condition caused by untreated hyperglycemia. On Dec. 22, Cota-Domingo was transferred by air ambulance to St. Joseph's Hospital in Phoenix, where he was placed in the intensive care unit. Hospital staff notified ICE officials that Cota-Domingo passed away Dec. 23 just before 1 a.m.

Cota-Domingo, who had recently crossed the border unlawfully, originally came into ICE custody after he was encountered Dec. 8 by U.S. Border Patrol near Sasabe. He had been detained at the Eloy Detention Center since Dec. 12, pending his removal to Guatemala, which was scheduled for Dec. 26. While at Eloy, Cota-Domingo received two routine medical screenings, but he did not disclose his health condition to medical staff until he became ill.

ICE advised the Guatemalan consulate that Cota-Domingo had been admitted to the hospital and provided consular officials with regular updates regarding his condition. Consular officials notified Cota-Domingo's next of kin in Guatemala of his death.

Cota-Domingo is the first detainee to pass away in ICE custody in fiscal year 2013.