Police: Child molester commits suicide

GREENFIELD — A convicted child molester was found dead in the Hancock County Jail on Tuesday morning after an apparent suicide.

Michael Ryan Youngblood, 34, of Crawfordsville, reportedly hanged himself with his jail-issued pants from the bars of his cell door, according to a news release from the Hancock County Sheriff’s Department.

Youngblood was being kept in a segregated block of the jail and was in a cell by himself when he died, Sheriff Mike Shepherd said.

Officers said they discovered his body around 6 a.m. during a routine cell check. He was rushed to Hancock Regional Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Youngblood faced 170 years in prison after a Hancock County jury found him guilty in February of four felony counts of child molestation. The case against him was filed a year ago after a girl came forward and accused him of forcing her to have sex.

A sentencing hearing was scheduled for next week.

Youngblood was being kept away from the rest of the jail population “for his own safety,” Shepherd said, adding that it is common practice to separate inmates convicted of child molestation from the rest of the jail population.

There was no previous indication that Youngblood was suicidal, Shepherd said. In fact, officers had checked on the inmate an hour prior without incident, he said.

The sheriff’s department still is investigating the incident. An autopsy will be conducted to determine exact cause of death.

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Caitlin VanOverberghe is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3237 or cvanoverberghe@greenfieldreporter.com.