A Nogales man who was arrested on first-degree murder charges last December has died after a jailhouse suicide, authorities said.
Aaron Manuel Estrada-Buelna, 29, died at 7:50 p.m. on Sunday at Banner University Medical Center in Tucson, according to Chris Smith, administrative service manager at the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office. The manner of death was suicide.
Estrada-Buelna had been airlifted to the hospital early Saturday morning from Cochise County Jail. Detention personnel discovered Estrada-Buelna in his cell at 1:45 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 22, after the suicide attempt, according to a news release sent by the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office.
Jail staff “administered life saving measures prior to medical personnel arriving on scene,” then transported Estrada-Buelna to the Copper Queen Hospital in Bisbee, Ariz., the release said. He was airlifted to Tucson at approximately 3:30 a.m.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff Antonio Estrada said that Estrada-Buelna was put on life support in Tucson, where he subsequently died. The Pima County medical examiner received the body at 8:46 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 24.
Estrada-Buelna was arrested in Nogales on Dec. 9, 2019 in connection with the death of 31-year-old Berenice Aguirre. The Nogales Police Department said that Estrada-Buelna killed Aguirre, then held their infant child hostage in a stand-off that ended when a SWAT team barged in to rescue the child and arrest the suspect.
Police arrested Estrada-Buelna on charges of first-degree murder, kidnapping, unlawful imprisonment, child abuse and endangerment. His bond was set at $3 million.
According to the news release, Estrada-Buelna was put in custody of the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office on Dec. 14, 2019.
Sheriff Estrada said the move was to “ensure (Estrada-Buelna’s) safety.”
“You have someone here who could be at risk because this is a small community and everybody knows everybody,” the sheriff said. He added that so-called “courtesy holdings” are common in high-profile cases such as murder and sexual assault.
The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating the incident.