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Lake County Inmate On Suicide Watch Hangs Himself

Igor Karlukov (Lake County Sheriff's Department)

Igor Karlukov (Lake County Sheriff’s Department)

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 (CBS) — A Ukrainian national awaiting trial for stalking and breaking into the home of an ex-girlfriend hanged himself early Friday at the Lake County Jail in Waukegan.

Police identified the inmate as 36-year-old Igor Karlukov, whose last known address was in Palatine. Undersheriff Raymond Rose said Karlukov had been jailed since Feb. 10, when he allegedly broke into the Mundelein home of an ex-girlfriend.

He was charged with home invasion, domestic battery, attempted strangulation, aggravated stalking and violating an order of protection

Karlukov fashioned his noose from a mesh laundry bag and earphone buds. Rose said Karlukov has been on a suicide watch and said guards checked Karlukov three times in 18 minutes before he was spotted hanging from a ventilator.

Inmate Hangs Himself In Lake County

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Rose said during the first check, at 2:42 a.m. Friday, the guard saw Karlukov in bed reading a book. Eight minutes later, the guard saw him standing by the toilet in his cell. At 3 a.m., when the guard saw Karlukov in the same position, he became concerned, entered the cell, and saw that he was hanging.

Rose said guards have noted 127 suicide threats and have foiled 14 actual attempts at the jail since January.  The last successful hanging at the jail was in 2006, but two deaths in early 2012 prompted an internal investigation.

Earlier this year, Lake County agreed to a $2 million settlement of a suit filed by the family of Eugene Gruber, a Grayslake man who died of pneumonia after being paralyzed during a confrontation with jail guards. A suit is still pending with the family of Lyvita Gomez, a Vernon Hills woman who died following a 15-day hunger strike. She was jailed for resisting arrest after missing jury duty.

Both Gruber and Gomez were hospitalized under guard when they died.

Attorney Terry Ekl has been reviewing the 2012 deaths. Rose said that Ekl delivered the second part of his review Tuesday and that county officials have not had the time to read it yet.

Rose said between 8 and 10 percent of the jail population at any given time is considered a risk to themselves. He said the number of threats has been increasing, and places the blame on the closure of mental health clinics by the state of Illinois.

“All the county jails have become the mental health facilities of the state,” he said.