WICHITA, Kan. (KAKE) - A 22-year-old man charged with killing his pregnant girlfriend earlier this year has died by suicide at the Sedgwick County Jail.

The sheriff's office confirmed Friday morning that inmate Alexander Lewis was found unresponsive in his cell Thursday morning. Preliminary findings indicated he died by self-inflicted asphyxiation.

Lewis had been in jail since August 26 and was charged with capital murder in the the death of 19-year-old Zaiylah Bronson and her unborn son. 

Police said Zaiylah was found dead in the trunk of Lewis' car on August 26, a Saturday. Officers responded late that morning to the 7900 block of East 21st Street North after dispatch received a call from a 911 operator in North Carolina saying they were told of a homicide that may have occurred.

KAKE reporters previously spoke with Zaiylah's mother, Taronza Bronson, who walked us through the moment she found out her daughter's body was found. She said Zaiylah was just over 16 weeks pregnant and had just found out the gender of the child.

“She had just found out that she was having a boy. And of course, we had that conversation. We even had a separate conversation on what she was naming it. And she would not tell me the baby's name. She said, 'No, Mom, it's a surprise,'” said Bronson.

Taronza says she had no idea that her daughter would become the victim of domestic violence.
 

“She would smile through anything. Sometimes it is hard to see those signs, because she was like a ray of sunshine. She would walk into a room and it just lights up,” said Bronson.

Police encourage survivors of domestic abuse to contact one of the many service providers in the Wichita area for help. A list of available resources can be found here.


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The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says a 22-year-old jail inmate charged with capital murder has died by suicide.

Detention staff located the man unresponsive in his cell at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday. 

"On-site medical staff and Emergency Medical Services were notified and attempted life saving measures," the sheriff's office said in a release. "The inmate was declared deceased on scene by medical personnel."

Preliminary reports indicate he died of self-inflicted asphyxiation. 

The inmate had been in the jail since August 26 on a capital murder charge. His name has not been released pending family notification. 

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation and sheriff's office are investigating his death.