Coroner: Death of group home resident was homicide

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - The Kern County coroner's office has referred to the death of a group home resident as a homicide.

Joseph Adam Lynch, 27, died in July after an interaction with staff members at the group home between Bakersfield and Lamont. The coroner's office announced Tuesday that Lynch died of positional asphyxia, and the manner of death was a homicide.

The sheriff's office was called July 9 on a vandalism complaint. Before the deputies arrived, the sheriff's office said Lynch assaulted one of the group home staff members. Other staff members attempted to control Lynch until deputies arrived.

Lynch was not responsive when deputies arrived, and deputies began CPR. Lynch was taken to Kern Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead about an hour after the initial sheriff's office dispatch.

Eyewitness News called the sheriff's office Tuesday for additional information on the investigation but hadn't heard back as of this writing.