Autopsy report: ICE detainee died from natural causes in Atlanta


Natural causes are to blame for the death of the Indian national who passed away in May while in the custody of federal immigration authorities in Atlanta, according to an autopsy report obtained by The Atlanta-Journal-Constitution.

Atulkumar Babubhai Patel, 58, died at Grady Memorial Hospital after suffering from congestive heart failure due to atherosclerotic coronary artery disease, the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s office says in its report. Patel, who also suffered from diabetes, was the second U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee to die in Georgia in the space of two days in May. 

“This 58-year-old Indian man with a medical history of diabetes mellitus was admitted to Grady Memorial Hospital with worsening shortness of breath and intermittent non-radiating chest pain,” the autopsy report says. “Despite aggressive treatment, he died three days after admission.” 

RELATED: Second ICE detainee in Georgia dies in space of two days

Patel arrived at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport on May 10 aboard a flight from Quito, Ecuador. He did not have the required immigration documents, according to ICE, so he was placed in the federal agency’s custody at the Atlanta City Detention Center. He received a medical screening there and was found to have high blood pressure and diabetes, according to ICE. Three days after he arrived in the U.S., a nurse checking his blood sugar noticed he was short of breath, so he was transported to Grady, where he later died. 

ICE announced in May that it was investigation his death. 

“ICE is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of this incident, as it does in all such cases,” the federal agency said in a news release in May. “This agency’s comprehensive review will be conducted by ICE senior leadership to include Enforcement and Removal Operations, the Office of Professional Responsibility and the Office of the Principal Legal Advisor.”


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