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About to be deported, American dies in custody

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A coroner’s van arrives to pick up the body of an American who had been detained by immigration authorities. Photo: Por Esto!

Mérida, Yucatán — An Arkansas man living in Mérida was found dead in his bunk while in the custody of immigration officials.

Endacott. Photo: Facebook

Van Jeffrey Endacott, 56, was being held at the National Institute of Migration, when authorities found him unresponsive when attempting to wake him. At least one newspaper reported blood at the scene.

He had been living in Mérida, apparently alone, for an undetermined amount of time.

Paramedics were summoned, and declared him dead. The state attorney general was assigned to collect the body.

Media outlets attempting to gather information about the death were deflected by a private security guard, according to Milenio Novedades.

Endacott was detained Wednesday after overstaying his visa, said Por Esto!, another newspaper. His deportation was apparently imminent.

Family back in the United States learned the bad news on Friday.

“Many details are still unclear, and we hope to get some clarity around what happened,” said his daughter, Megan Little, on Facebook. “We loved our dad very much and I hope he knows how much his girls loved him.”

“Van was a good man,” said another family friend in Arkansas.

 With information from Por Esto!, Yucatán A La Mano, Sipse

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