Inmate found dead in Northern California prison hours after fight injures 3 inmates, 1 guard

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VACAVILLE, California — Officials are investigating whether the death of an inmate who went missing from a Northern California prison is related to a fight among prisoners earlier in the day.

The 24-year-old victim was discovered missing Monday afternoon from California State Prison, Solano. Officials initially feared Nicholas Rodriguez had escaped from the prison 40 miles southwest of Sacramento.

His body was found five hours later in what officials called a confined space in his cell house. They suspect Rodriguez was killed but provided no details.

Corrections department spokesman Jeffrey Callison said Tuesday that Rodriguez was serving an eight-year robbery sentence from Alameda County.

Callison said officials are investigating whether the death is related to a fight among 58 inmates about 7 a.m.

Three inmates and one officer had minor injuries.

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