NEW YORK — A Brooklyn mother is desperately seeking answers to how her 26-year-old son Rafael Pena died in a prison cell in Downstate Correctional Facility, a maximum-security prison, on Thursday afternoon.
In an exclusive interview, Lily Pachardo tells PIX 11 she tried to visit her son on July 21 but was told he was in a segregated area of the prison known as “the box” and because of this, Pachardo and her daughter were unable visit.
Days later, on Thursday evening, she gets a shocking phone call.
Pachardo said, “They called and said he was dead and that was it.”
New York State prison records show Pena was serving two and a half years for criminal possession of a controlled substance. His mother says he has no history of mental illness or depression.
The Department of Corrections says Pena was found hanging in his cell in a statement deal DOCCS said
Pachardo said, “he loves us his son his sister” and that her son would never take his own life.
On the same day Pachardo received the call, she received a letter in the mail sent by her son.
The Dutchess County Medical Examiner will determine cause of death. The Department of Corrections and State Police are investigating.