Police investigate death of 80-year-old inmate in Maryland as homicide

Police in Maryland have launched a homicide investigation into the death of an 80-year-old inmate in an Allegany County prison.

Ralph Ruark was pronounced dead around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday by emergency medical personnel at the Western Correctional Institution in Cumberland where he was an inmate, according to the Maryland State Police.

The death is being investigated as a homicide and Ruark’s body was transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore to determine the cause of death, according to a news release.

The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Internal Investigative Unit contacted the Maryland State Police Homicide Unit around 4:10 p.m. on Saturday about Ruark’s death.

The Maryland State Police Homicide Unit is leading the investigation with assistance from the Maryland State Police crime scene technicians and investigators with the DPSCS Internal Investigative Unit.

Police said that once the investigation is complete, the information will be presented to the Allegany County State’s Attorney’s Office for review.

See a map of the location of the prison below.

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Valerie Bonk

Valerie Bonk started working at WTOP in 2016 and has lived in Howard County, Maryland, her entire life. She's thrilled to be a reporter for WTOP telling stories on air. She works as both a television and radio reporter in the Maryland and D.C. areas. 

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