Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photoTwo men have died this year while in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department. The mother of one of the men is scheduled to meet with Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

Mike Koozmin/S.F. Examiner file photoTwo men have died this year while in the custody of the Sheriff’s Department. The mother of one of the men is scheduled to meet with Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi.

More details of three police and sheriff in-custody deaths in recent months

The mother of a man who died in County Jail this month said she will be her “son's voice” until she finds out how he died.

Janet Planells is the mother of Antolin Marenco, who died in custody Oct. 3. She said the Sheriff's

Department, which operates the County Jail system, has not told her how her son died, but she has a planned meeting with Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi and his staff to speak about the incident.

Planells did not hear from the Sheriff's Department about her son's death until she called, she said.

Representatives from the Medical Examiner's Office came to her house at 11 p.m. Oct. 3 and told her that her son had died, but gave few other details because there was an open investigation. But they did say that it appears to have been suicide, since he was found hanging in his cell.

Planells last spoke to her son about noon on the day of his death and did not think he sounded disturbed or depressed. He told her he missed her and loved her, she said.

“I call this a David-and-Goliath situation,” Planells said, “and I am not afraid of Goliath.”

Still, she is reserving judgment on how he died.

Marenco, 40, is one of two men who have died in Sheriff's Department custody this year.

Brette Robinson, 44, died Aug. 23 in one of The City's smaller jail facilities that holds female and male prisoners. Marenco died at the 850 Bryant St. facility, the main County Jail in San Francisco.

Both cases are under investigation, according to the Sheriff's Department.

Another in-custody death, involving the Police Department, occurred Oct. 14 and remains under investigation. Neither the name of the person who died nor the circumstances of the death have been released.

UPDATE: On Thursday, The San Francisco Examiner learned the name of the person who died in police custody. He was Jonathan Mitchell, 49, according to the Medical Examiner's Office. He also died Oct. 14, not Oct. 18, as police originally reported. The circumstances of the death are unknown, as the case is under investigation.Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & Courtsin-custody deathSan Francisco PoliceSan Francisco Sheriff

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Agnes Liang, who will be a senior at Mission High School, is running for one of the two student representative seats on the San Francisco Unified School District Board of Education. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Turbulent year on school board leaves student delegates undeterred

Around this time last year, Shavonne Hines-Foster and Kathya Correa Almanza were… Continue reading

(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Three people killed in SF shootings in less than 24 hours

San Francisco police were scrambling Saturday to respond to a series of… Continue reading

Muni operator Angel Carvajal drives the popular boat tram following a news conference celebrating the return of the historic F-line and subway service on Friday, May 14, 2021. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Mayor, transit officials celebrate return of Muni service

Mayor London Breed and city transit officials gathered Friday to welcome the… Continue reading

San Francisco police investigated the scene of a police shooting near Varney Place and Third Street on May 7. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
SFPD shooting may prompt new body camera rules for plainclothes cops

Police chief says incident ‘should not have happened’

Governor Gavin Newsom speaks at a news conference about a $12 billion package bolstering the state’s response to the homelessness crisis at the Kearney Vista Apartments on May 11, 2021 in San Diego, California. (K.C. Alfred/The San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS)
Newsom promises sweeping change in California’s $267-billion budget

John Myers Los Angeles Times California would embark on the most ambitious… Continue reading

Most Read