Tompkins Co. police investigating death of 32-year-old inmate

Courtesy of Ellyn Williams
April 18, 2014

The Tompkins County Sheriff’s office is investigating the death of a 32-year-old prisoner who was found dead in his cell the first night of his prison term.

Travis Yavits of Ithaca had been admitted to the Tompkins County jail Tuesday evening to serve 60 days for a larceny conviction.

Less than 12 hours later, he was dead. A corrections officer found Yavits in his bunk at 3:30 Wednesday morning.

Yavits is the father of Ellyn Williams’ young son. For their son’s sake, she says she wants to know what happened.

"I’m afraid of what it’s going to be because it’s not going to be a happy ending no matter how he passed away because he DID pass away and he’s my son’s father," says Williams. "But specifically how he did is something I would want to keep to tell Gage if he asks me later on in his life."

The sheriff’s office says there’s no indication of foul-play. The cause of death is under investigation.