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Local News

Latin King's jailhouse death remains a mystery

Aaron M. Bowers, 28
Aaron M. Bowers, 28

The Will County Coroner’s Office has yet to determine how a Latin King facing murder charges ended up dead in his jail cell on Tuesday.

The coroner’s office said in a news release that an autopsy was performed Wednesday on Aaron M. Bowers, 28. Bowers was found unresponsive in his bed in the Will County jail about 5:45 a.m. Tuesday. 

No cause or manner of death was established and “further studies are required to determine the final cause and manner of death in this case,” the coroner’s office said. 

The final determination of how Bowers died is pending police, toxicology and autopsy reports, the coroner’s office said.

The Will-Grundy Major Crimes Task Force is investigating Bowers’ death. Task force chairman Ken Kroll failed to return a call Wednesday. 

Bowers shared his jail cell with another inmate, police said.

Bowers was charged with the murder of Nichole Rodriguez, who was shot to death exactly six years and one day before his arrest on Feb. 24, 2016.

He was arrested that day with 18 others as part of a two-year police investigation dubbed “Operation King Kong” that targeted Latin King gang members. 

Rodriguez, 28, along with her young daughter and stepsister were sitting in a green 1992 Oldsmobile Royale in an East Benton Street driveway when two men approached and opened fire on the car.

Will County State’s Attorney spokeswoman Carole Cheney said in an email that once their office has received a certified copy of Bowers’ death certificate, a suggestion of death will be submitted in court. 

A suggestion of death, or statement noting death, will make Bowers’ death a matter of record, Cheney said, and his case can be dismissed.

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