The 2019 Eastern View High School graduate who died in police custody last week had reportedly turned down a morning meal just half-hour before he was found deceased in a jail cell, according to Virginia State Police.

Late on the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 11, Radford University Police responded to a call at a campus facility concerning Aris Eduardo Lobo Perez, 18, of Culpeper. Police took him into custody shortly before midnight on a charge of public intoxication, according to a news release Thursday morning from Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corrine Geller.

As is standard procedure for law enforcement agencies, Perez was transported by the arresting agency to New River Valley Regional Jail, according to the release. The jail is located in Dublin, Virginia in Pulaski County, about nine miles from the university where Perez had started his freshman year less than three weeks earlier.

At approximately 7:20 a.m. on Thursday, Sept. 12, jail personnel approached Perez to offer him breakfast, which he declined, the release stated. It was at 7:50 a.m. that jail personnel found him unresponsive in his cell.

Despite immediate efforts by jail personnel to resuscitate the 18-year-old, he was declared deceased at the jail, according to State Police. The VSP Wytheville Field Office is in charge of the investigation, which remains ongoing.

Perez’s remains were transported to the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke for examination and autopsy. State police investigators are awaiting additional information and analysis from the medical examiner as it continues its investigation, Thursday’s news release stated.

Tracie Cooper, Western District Administrator in the Medical Examiner’s Office, said it takes an average of four to 12 weeks before cases are finalized when further testing is involved, according to email Thursday.

Perez’s older sister, Jennifer Turcios Ariela Lobo Perez, notified of the new state police information on Thursday, said the family still has not been contacted with any information about their loved one’s death.

“We should be the first to know,” she said.

The family will receive friends at funeral services 5 to 8 p.m. this Friday at Culpeper Baptist Church, 318 S. West St. A funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 21 at Culpeper Baptist with the Rev. Habacuc Diaz officiating. Interment will follow at Fairview Cemetery. Found and Sons is handling funeral arrangements.

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