Detainee dies at Berkshire County House of Correction

Berkshire County

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Massachusetts State Police is investigating a death at the Berkshire County House of Correction Sunday afternoon.

According to Berkshire District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Andy McKeever, at around 4:30 p.m. members of the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office discovered 34-year-old Stavri Yanka of Adams unresponsive. Yanka was taken to Berkshire Medical Center when doctors later announced he died.

The Chief Medical Examiner determines that the death to be asphyxiation and the manner of death as suicide.

“I send my condolences to Mr. Yanka’s family, friends during this very difficult time. I thank House of Correction staff for their response and attempts to save Mr. Yanka’s life and the State Police Detective Unit for their investigation into the matter,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said.

“I want anyone who may have suicidal ideations to know that there are people who care and support you and will help you.”

Yanka was arrested Thursday by Adams Police on felony breaking and entering in the nighttime charges and brought to Berkshire County House of Correction. He was awaiting trial on an assault and battery on a family member charge when Adams Police arrested him and the court ordered Yanka to be detained for violating his conditions of release on the pending matter at the arraignment on Friday.

Staff performed mental health and medical screenings on Yanka when he entered the Berkshire County House of Correction and did not show an elevated risk of harming himself.

The Berkshire State Police Detective Unit, Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, , Massachusetts State Police Crime Scene Services Section, and the Berkshire District Attorney are investigating video surveillance, incident reports, other evidence, and conducting formal interviews with those involved.

GET HELP: mental health crisis and/or contemplating suicide:

  • Brien Center: Call 1-800-252-0227 to talk to a trained, local crisis counselor 24/7.
  • Crisis Text Line: Text NAMI to 741-741 to receive support from a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
  • Department of Mental Health (DMH): Local crisis line available 24/7. Call (413) 499-0412.
  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to speak with a trained crisis counselor 24/7.
  • The Trevor Project: Call 1-866-488-7386 or text START to 678678 to speak with a LGBTQ+ Youth specialized crisis counselor 24/7.
  • Trans Lifeline: Provides support specifically for transgender and questioning callers. Crisis support & guidance, call 1-877-565-8860 between 10 a.m. -4 p.m.
  • Teen Line: Teens helping teens. Text TEEN to 839-863 between 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. daily.
  • Veterans Crisis Line: Available to anyone, even if you are not registered with VA or enrolled in VA health care. Call 1-800- 273-8255 (then press 1), or text 838- 255. For Deaf or Hard of Hearing, call: 1-800-799-4889. Available 24/7

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