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ASHLAND — Jail officials found an inmate dead in his cell early Tuesday, a press release from the Ashland County Sheriff's Office said.

Officials said Mark Simon, 43, was found in his cell "sitting on the toilet with what appeared to be his bed sheet tied to the ventilation grate and other end tied around his neck."

Simon was being held at the Ashland County Jail for a felony kidnapping charge stemming from an incident last week.

Jail officials said Simon was unresponsive when found at 12:35 a.m. during a security check.

Officials called for an ambulance. Emergency personnel arrived 10 minutes later, according to the press release, and began operating CPR as they drove him to the hospital.

University Hospital Samaritan pronounced Simon dead when he arrived there.

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Police said Simon hid in a woman’s car last Wednesday while she shopped in the Union Street BP gas convenience store.

“The woman reported she was grabbed inside her vehicle by a stranger after she had returned to her car from making a purchase,” officials said in a press release last week.

Simon grabbed the woman around her neck from behind, police said. The woman was able to get away and give police a description, leading to his arrest the following day at his Ashland home.

Magistrate Paul Lange set Simon’s bond at $500,000. Simon then plead not guilty by reason of insanity, according to court records.

Ashland County Sheriff's chief deputy Dave Blake said the agency is investigating, along with the Ashland County Coroner's Office.

Blake said Ashland County Prosecutor Chris Tunnell has been notified of the incident.

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