Odessa man chokes on muffin, dies in federal custody

Odessa man chokes on muffin, dies in federal custody

MIDLAND-ODESSA, TX (KWES) - Texas Rangers are investigating the circumstances surrounding an Odessa man's death while in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, officials confirmed Tuesday.

Herbey Garcia Armendariz, 64, choked on a blueberry muffin Monday after receiving dialysis treatment at a DaVita clinic and was rushed to Midland Memorial Hospital, according to Midland County justice of the peace Terry Luck.

Armendariz was pronounced dead Monday around 6:50 p.m., he confirmed.

The official cause of death remains undetermined, Sgt. Oscar Villarreal, a spokesperson for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Tuesday.

Federal and state authorities opened a joint investigation into his death, according to Brent Sheets, a spokesperson for the U.S. Marshals.

Armendariz had been in federal custody in Odessa for less than two months, he said.

Sheets declined to comment on details of the ongoing investigation and Armendariz's medical treatment.

The former inmate's daughter, Xochitl Armendariz, said his death left their family "crushed."

"This should not have happened," she sobbed. "I believe [authorities assigned to watch him] let him choke to death... They should have been watching him after dialysis. They could have tried to resuscitate him. They could have taken him to the ER faster."

His family plans to take legal action, relatives said.

"A muffin killed the strongest man I know?" said Xochitl. "A freaking muffin? That can't be right."

Copyright 2016 KWES. All rights reserved.