SAN RAFAEL -- A carjacking suspect accused of killing a Castro Valley woman in Oregon was pronounced dead Friday after he was found hanging at the Marin County Jail.
Jeffrey Boyce, who was arrested April 29, had yet to complete his arraignment and enter a plea because of his mental condition. Hearings were repeatedly postponed because Boyce was on suicide watch at the jail or being held in an outside mental health facility.
He was also suspected of killing a woman about 20 miles from his home in North Bend, Ore. Kirsten Elaine Englund, a 57-year-old Castro Valley resident, was found April 28 at Wayfinding Point, an ocean vista with a lighthouse off Highway 101 near Reedsport.
Boyce, 30, tried to hang himself at least once before by tying a sheet to a second-tier railing and jumping over, but jail deputies managed to pull him back up to the balcony.
Boyce had a hearing scheduled on July 5 to determine whether he should be placed in mental health conservatorship.
The Marin County Sheriff's Office, which runs both the jail and the coroner's division, turned the investigation of Boyce's death over to other agencies for an independent inquiry. The investigation is being handled by the San Rafael Police Department and the coroner's office in Sonoma County.
An autopsy was planned for Monday, said San Rafael police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher.
Boyce, an Oregon resident, was arrested after a pair of armed confrontations in Marin and Sonoma counties. He allegedly carjacked a man in Rohnert Park and briefly held him captive and tried to carjack a Mill Valley woman at the Bon Air Shopping Center in Greenbrae.
Boyce was arrested after he was found pounding on the door of a home near the shopping center.
His mother told authorities that he was bipolar and having a psychotic episode, and that he was driving to San Francisco to seek asylum at the Russian consulate, police said.
Guns and ammunition were found in both the truck he drove to Rohnert Park and the car he allegedly stole there and drove to Greenbrae.
Marin County prosecutors charged him with seven felonies stemming from the two incidents. He faced a potential life sentence.
Contact Gary Klien via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.