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Coroner says New Orleans inmate charged with rape killed himself with a telephone cord

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NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans' coroner says preliminary autopsy results indicate that an inmate found in a holding cell in the city's notorious prison this week killed himself with a telephone cord.

Coroner Jeffrey C. Rouse says Ryan Miller's autopsy took place with an independent forensic pathologist chosen by Miller's family present.

Rouse says a final determination about Miller's death will be made after further investigation. Toxicology results are pending.

Miller had been charged with aggravated rape involving a 12-year-old victim. He was found Monday night with a telephone cord around his neck and died early Tuesday.

Miller's death renewed concerns about the progress of court-ordered reforms at Orleans Parish Prison, where court testimony this week indicates he was left alone despite having expressed suicidal thoughts.

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