Autopsy: No fatal injuries found in death of Kansas teen

September 30, 2021 GMT

WICHITA, Kan. (AP) — Preliminary autopsy results show that a teenager who died after being restrained at a Kansas juvenile detention facility didn’t suffer any injuries that would have been life-threatening, authorities said Thursday.

The autopsy on 17-year-old Cedric “CJ” Lofton’s body found only scratches and a bruise and his cause of death hasn’t been determined, Sedgwick County Sheriff Jeff Easter said at a news conference. Authorities are awaiting a toxicology report as they investigate the circumstances surrounding Lofton’s death last weekend.

Sedgwick County District Attorney Marc Bennett said he expects to receive a report from investigators either next week or the following week, once the toxicology results come back. He said he didn’t have enough information yet to decide whether charges are warranted.

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Lofton was placed in the custody of the Kansas Department for Children and Families in 2019 in Junction City and put with foster parents in Wichita because of minor drug use and minor crimes, Easter said. His foster father called Wichita police early Friday because Lofton was having a mental breakdown, the sheriff said.

Officers tried to persuade Lofton to voluntarily seek mental health treatment before trying to take him into custody, but he resisted and assaulted the officers, authorities said. He was taken to the county’s Juvenile Intake and Assessment Center on charges of suspicion of battering a law enforcement officer.

Authorities released a timeline Thursday that showed police left the teen at the center only to be asked to return about an hour later because Lofton was having mental issues and was combative with staff.

That timeline shows that staff at the center were already conducting CPR on the teen by the time Wichita police returned to the center.

Emergency medical responders were able to get Lofton’s heart started before transporting him to the hospital, but he died there two days later without regaining consciousness, Easter said.