ROCKFORD — A task force that investigates all local in-custody deaths has determined that a man found hanging from sheets inside his Winnebago County Jail cell last year died by suicide.


Winnebago County State’s Attorney Marilyn Hite Ross reviewed the investigation and announced the findings on Monday.


Joseph McCormick, who was booked into the jail on April 23, 2019, on charges including armed robbery and attempted first-degree murder, was found hanging in his cell on Dec. 1. Corrections officers performed CPR until the jail’s medical staff and paramedics arrived. McCormick, 27, was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.


An autopsy determined that the cause of death was asphyxia caused by hanging, and the investigation was turned over to the Winnebago Boone County Integrity Task Force for further review.


Kevin Haas: khaas@rrstar.com; @KevinMHaas