KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) — Detectives are investigating a homicide after a Kern Valley State Prison inmate was found dead in his cell on Thursday, according to Kern County Sheriff’s Department officials.

Just after 6:00 a.m. on Thursday, authorities say they found Abraham Morales, 37, unresponsive in the cell he shared with inmate Charles Ramirez, 44, during a routine security check.

Deputies say Ramirez was removed from the scene as medical personnel responded to the incident and began performing life-saving measures on Morales.

Morales was taken to the prison’s treatment and tirage area for medical aid but later died due to his injuries, according to deputies.

Deputies say Charles Ramirez, 44, was Morales’ cellmate. He was removed from the scene when deputies found Morales unresponsive in their shared cell, according to officials.

Kern County Sheriff’s Department officials say Morales was admitted to the prison on June 8, 2010, from Ventura County. According to deputies, he was sentenced to serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for, “first-degree murder with the intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury or death.”

Authorities say Morales also had two enhancements for prior felony convictions of a serious offense.

Ramirez was admitted from Orange County on Feb. 12, 2014, according to officials. Deputies say he was sentenced, “to serve life with the possibility of parole for first-degree murder with the intentional discharge of a firearm causing great bodily injury or death.”

Detectives say Ramirez was sentenced in Kern County on Aug. 5, 2021, to an additional seven years for assault with a deadly weapon or force likely to cause great bodily injury, which was an in-prison offense.

The cause of Morales’ death is still unknown at this time. Deputies say the Office of the Inspector General has also been notified.