A self-described Satanist facing murder charges was found dead in his North Carolina prison cell in an apparent suicide, authorities said.
Pazuzu Algarad, 36, was found unresponsive about 3 a.m. Wednesday by correctional officers in Central Prison in Raleigh with a wound to one of his arms, according to the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.
Doctors and medical staff tried to revive him for more than an hour, but he was pronounced dead at 4:20 a.m., officials said.
Algarad was transferred to the facility in May at the joint safekeeping request of his attorney and the District Attorney’s office for reasons that have been sealed from public view, District Attorney Jim O’Neill said at a press conference.
He would not divulge why Algarad was sent to the prison, but said inmates are typically sent to the prison on safekeeping orders to keep either themselves or others safe, or for reasons related to mental or physical health.
O’Neill would not say if Algarad was in general population or solitary confinement or further discuss the manner of his death, but the North Carolina Department of Public Safety labeled the death an “apparent suicide.”
Algarad was due in court Thursday, almost exactly one year after skeletal remains of two missing men were found buried behind his since-bulldozed Clemmons home, officials said.
Joshua Fredrick Wetzler, 37, and Tommy Dean Welch, 36, are believed to have been killed separately in July and October of 2009 by Algarad and his live-in girlfriend, Amber Nicole Burch.
Both Algarad and Burch were charged with one count each of murder and one count of accessory after the fact to murder. Burch remains jailed.
A second woman, Krystal Nicole Matlock, was accused of helping bury one of the bodies. She was charged with accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.
Officials would not discuss how the death of Algarad, who in 2012 reportedly changed his name to the Assyrian demon discussed in The Exorcist, would complicate or make easier the double-murder case.
‘In any case where a life is lost- he has a family, he has friends- we don't celebrate the loss of life,” O’Neill said. “It’s sad for them and out of respect for them we ... don’t comment on it.”
The State Capitol Police Department is conducting an investigation, assisted by the City-County Bureau of Identification.