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Polk County Sheriff’s Detectives are Investigating the Death of an Inmate Who Died At Winter Haven Hospital


Polk County Sheriff’s detectives are investigating the death of a Polk County Jail inmate that occurred on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at Winter Haven Hospital.

63-year-old Keith Garrard, Sr., was arrested by PCSO on August 10, 2018, for 68 counts possession of child pornography, two counts sexual battery by a custodian on a victim under 12 years old, and two counts sexual battery by a suspect over 18 on a victim under 12, and was being held on no bond.

Upon his initial medical screening at book-in, Garrard reported the following medical conditions: diabetes, hypertension, renal disease and renal failure. He was receiving dialysis three times per week before and after being booked in, and he was housed in the infirmary.

Garrard was sent to Winter Haven Hospital on March 20th, March 21st, and a final time on March 31st, 2019, due to various health issues.

After being admitted to WHH on Sunday, March 31st, his medical condition did not improve, and in fact, it deteriorated. Despite all efforts of the medical staff, Garrard died – he was declared deceased at 3:54 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

Garrard (DOB 06/04/1955), has a last known address of 378 Hwy 630 East in Frostproof.

An autopsy is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 3rd, to determine his cause and manner of death.

This is an ongoing death investigation. It is standard PCSO policy for four separate mandated, independent investigations to be conducted when an inmate dies. The PCSO Administrative Investigations Section is conducting an internal review. The PCSO Bureau of Criminal Investigations is conducting the death investigation. The Polk County Medical Examiner will conduct the autopsy to determine the manner and cause of death. All of the investigative findings will be forwarded to the State Attorney’s Office for their investigative review.


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Staff Reporter

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