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Inmate who died in Montana jail identified as 28-year-old Cody man

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BILLINGS, Montana — Authorities on Monday identified an inmate who died at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility in Billings as a 28-year-old Wyoming man.

Yellowstone County Sheriff Mike Linder said an autopsy showed 28-year-old Michael Ostby of Cody died as a result of asphyxiation.

The death appears to be a suicide, but the matter remains under investigation, Linder said.

Detention officers found Ostby unconscious in his cell on July 1, according to authorities. They performed CPR until paramedics arrived, but Ostby died.

Under state law, the county attorney's office will schedule a coroner's inquest because Ostby died while in custody.

At the time of his death, Ostby was being held on $90,000 bond following an altercation in May in which he allegedly rammed an unoccupied police car with a vehicle and then told officers to shoot him. After being taken into custody, he was accused of assaulting an officer at the detention facility.

Ostby faced charges of assault on a peace officer, assault with a weapon, criminal mischief and possession of drug paraphernalia.

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