A murder suspect in the Morrison County Jail was found dead in his cell Wednesday with a bed sheet strip knotted around his neck.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner determined inmate 42-year-old Martin Wolter died from asphyxiation from hanging.
"This does appear by all accounts to be a suicide," said Morrison County Sheriff Michel Wetzel.
Wolter was arrested for the murder of Deidria Clapp. Her body was discovered Sept. 6 in a non-operating granite quarry in Belle Prairie Township northeast of Little Falls.
Wolter was discovered in his cell about 2 a.m. The bed sheet was tied to a low towel rack and wrapped around Wolter's neck. He was found sitting on the floor, Wetzel said.
Jail checks were completed about 1:20 a.m. and Wetzel said a second round of checks just before 2 a.m. discovered Wolter.
Wolter did not have any vital signs but correctional officers, Morrison County deputies, Little Falls police and Gold Cross Ambulance staff spent 30 minutes trying to revive the inmate, Wetzel said.
Wolter was in a cell alone. Wolter was not on a suicide watch, but Wetzel said any inmate on a serious charge is put on a close watch.
As far as the murder investigation, Wetzel said law enforcement is still confident Wolter murdered Clapp. They will proceed with the investigation, interviews and lab work, Wetzel said.
Wetzel said they want to be completely convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that Wolter was the murderer.
"There is nothing to indicate there was anyone else involved but the investigation continues," Wetzel said. "It's unfortunate that there is ever a loss of life in your county jail. We take every possible measure we can to prevent suicide, but if someone is committed to ending their life it can be done."
Wolter was being held on $1 million bail in Clapp's death. Wolter was charged with two counts of second-degree murder. Investigators believe he likely killed Clapp in the Twin Cities, then drove her body to the quarry.
The criminal complaint said investigators found human blood on a couch at Wolter's residence and inside the trunk of his car. A roommate of Wolter's told investigators Wolter was a violent person who recently had increased his drug use. The roommate said Wolter became upset when the roommate told Wolter he had had sexual relations with Clapp.
Clapp's hands and feet had been bound with rope, and there was duct tape on the lower portion of her face. Plastic weights had been tied to her wrists and feet. An autopsy determined she died from blunt force trauma. Similar rope and weights were found in Wolter's home, the complaint said.
(This story includes information from The Associated Press.)
RENEE RICHARDSON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5852.
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