A detention officer conducting a routine cell check earlier today (August 2, 2012) discovered a deceased male inmate. Mark L Willis, age 50, of Joplin was pronounced dead at the scene. Willis was in a cell by himself. There were no obvious signs of foul play or suicide. Willis had been arrested for allegedly committing larceny.
The Joplin Police Department Investigations Bureau is investigating the death, and an autopsy has been scheduled for tomorrow in Columbia.