Sheriff’s Officials Investigate Death of West Valley Detention Center Inmate

Sheriff’s Officials Investigate Death of West Valley Detention Center Inmate

FONTANA – The death of 72-year-old West Valley Detention inmate just two days following his release from custody sparked a death investigation Wednesday.

San Bernardino resident, Leon Obien was arrested in the afternoon on May 20th by State Parole and booked into the West Valley Detention Center on a Parole Violation. Just over three weeks following the arrest, on June 5th Obien suffered a medical emergency while in custody.

Sheriff’s officials said that Obien suffered from an ongoing health issue which is believed to have caused the medical emergency. He was transported to Kaiser Hospital in Fontana where he was admitted. His health continued to decline and State Parole officials went before the court to drop the Parole hold on June 6th. Obien was released from custody the same evening but remained hospitalized.

Obien died while in the hospital on the morning of June 8th, and although no foul play is suspected the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Specialized Investigations Division responded to conduct an investigation. The Riverside County Coroner’s Office will determine Obien’s cause of death.

Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Scott Stafford or Sergeant Robert Warrick at (909) 387-3589. Callers wishing to remain anonymous are urged to call the We-tip Hotline at 1-800-78-CRIME (27463) or you may leave information on the We-Tip Hotline at

(Photo Courtesy of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, information provided by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Press Release)

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