County jail death is under investigation

35-year-old man found unresponsive Jan. 2 in Kitsap County Jail cell

An investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding an unresponsive 35-year-old man found in his Kitsap County Jail cell on Jan. 2. The incarcerated man later died at Tacoma General Hospital Jan. 9 after being placed on life support. (File photo)

An investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding an unresponsive 35-year-old man found in his Kitsap County Jail cell on Jan. 2. The incarcerated man later died at Tacoma General Hospital Jan. 9 after being placed on life support. (File photo)

PORT ORCHARD — An investigation continues into the circumstances surrounding the death of a 35-year-old man who was found unresponsive in his cell Jan. 2 at the Kitsap County Jail.

Port Orchard Police Chief Matt Brown said he requested an investigation by the multi-agency Kitsap Critical Incident Response Team shortly after the man was pronounced dead on Jan. 9. Brown initiated the investigation request since the county jail is within the city limits of Port Orchard.

Nicholas Rapp, who had been booked into the jail on domestic violence charges Dec. 31, was found unresponsive by a Kitsap County correctional officer at around 1:40 p.m. on Jan. 2. Correctional officers, including on-site medical staff, immediately began lifesaving efforts, Brown said in a news release.

South Kitsap Fire and Rescue medics transported Rapp to Tacoma General Hospital, where medical staff placed him on life support. Following his death declaration, an autopsy was conducted on Jan. 10.

Brown said the investigation is ongoing. Details will be released, he said, when the investigators complete their review of the incident. What is known, however, is that Rapp was housed in a single cell with no other inmates. The jail’s surveillance video shows no one entered or left the man’s jail cell. Rapp had been observed by a correctional officer during routine cell checks, and no foul play is suspected.

The investigating team includes investigators from police departments in Port Orchard, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Poulsbo and Shelton. Also taking part in the investigation are personnel from the Washington State Patrol. Brown said investigators from the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office, however, are not participating in the investigation since the jail is part of that agency’s organizational structure.

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