Quay County Sun - Serving the High Plains

Officials: Indiana man attempts suicide in jail


September 9, 2016


The man arrested in Tucumcari with a missing Kentucky teen was airlifted on Sept. 13 to an Amarillo hospital after attempting to commit suicide in the Quay County Detention Center, police said.

Kenneth R. Nigh of Arlington, Indiana, 20, was transported to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital for serious self-inflicted injuries said Deputy Chief Peter Rivera.

Rivera said on Monday that Nigh is alive and still hospitalized. He said no additional information about the extent of Nigh’s injuries or his current condition would be released.

Early on the morning of Sept. 13, detention officers discovered Nigh had tried to commit suicide in his cell, said Richard Primrose, Quay County manager.

Primrose said an ambulance was dispatched to the detention center and officers began to perform CPR on Nigh.

“The officers did all that they could to render aid to Nigh,” Primrose said

Rivera could not comment on how Nigh was injured but he said Nigh was airlifted to an Amarillo hospital.

QCDC Lt. Chris Birch said Nigh was booked into the jail at 3:08 a.m. on Sept. 4 on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

Rivera said Nigh was taken into custody at 9 p.m. on Sept. 3 but he could not explain why the booking took so long. He said it could have been due to an unrelated police standoff that was occurring at the same time.

“Nigh was not questioned by officers prior to his booking,” Rivera said.

Nigh was arrested after Tucumcari police officers found him with 15-year-old Jenna Oakley in the parking lot of Tucumcari’s Motel 6.

Oakley had been listed as a missing person on Sept. 15 by the Kentucky State Police after her stepmother was found dead at her home in Danville Kentucky.

When investigators were unable to find or locate her stepdaughter, Jenna, Kentucky State Police considered Jenna Oakley a missing person and circulated her picture all over the country, said Kentucky Trooper Robert Purdy.

Purdy said the deceased’s car was also missing, so it was entered into a national database as a stolen vehicle.

Nigh and Jenna Oakley were traveling in the dead woman’s 2014 Honda Civic. Officials have not said whether the teenager had gone willingly with Nigh.

Purdy said neither Nigh nor Oakley has been charged in connection with the death of Oakley’s stepmother, Rhonda Oakley.

Rivera said Jenna Oakley is being held in a juvenile detention center on suspicion of car theft.

Purdy said the cause of Rhonda Oakley’s death has not been released and the case is still under investigation.


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