Mark Klos, a 72-year-old resident of Palm Drive in Flagler Beach who was arrested Thursday on for making brutal and graphic death threats against a Palm Coast business owner, was found dead this morning at the Flagler County jail of an apparent suicide.
Klos was found at 9:31 a.m. “leaning against the cell door,” according to a release issued by the sheriff’s office at 1 p.m., suggesting that it was a suicide by hanging. Detention deputies and onsite medical staff immediately performed CPR and used a defibrillator on Klos in an attempt to revive him until a Flagler County Fire Rescue unit arrived. A county paramedic pronounced Mark Terrance Klos dead.
The jail was placed on lockdown and Sheriff Rick Staly, who was at the jail this morning, ordered an internal investigation and requested a Florida Department of Law Enforcement Investigation. The internal investigation will examine whether policies were followed by jail staff. The FDLE investigation will look at any criminal angles, if any. But the release stated that “there is no apparent foul play or suspicious circumstances surrounding the death.”
Klos, like all inmates entering the jail, would have been screened for medical and mental health. Chief Steve Cole, who oversees the jail, did not disclose the method of suicide. “FDLE is investigating that part of it,” Cole said. But he said the nurse contracted by the jail for health services, along with other personnel, were making health rounds in that very cell block when Klos was discovered. It was the nurse and jail staff who found Klos.
Klos was in the Classification Cellblock, where all inmates are in their cells, essentially on lockdown, awaiting first appearance before a judge before they are then classified to other blocks, or housing units, based on their charges and demeanor. “This particular person was in the cell by himself,” Cole said. Anyone first arrested “would go to the classification block and be on lockdown until you’re properly classified.”
Klos had his first appearance hearing on Sept. 28 on the second degree felony charge. He was being held without bond at the jail.
The whole jail has been on lockdown since this morning’s incident, with FDLE arriving at the jail, known as the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility, at around noon. The facility would remain on lockdown for the duration of FDLE’s investigation there, which was expected to stretch to the middle of the afternoon. Inmates received their noon meal in their cells.
“It is tragic anytime someone takes their life,” Staly was quoted as saying in the release. “We have many services available to our inmates, including mental health services through Stewart-Marchman-Act Behavioral Healthcare. We extend our condolences to his family.” Next-of-kin was informed of the death in mid-afternoon.
The county jail was the scene of an attempted suicide in February, when an inmate tried to kill himself by hanging from a set of stairs’ railing. Inmates immediately intervened and pulled him over as deputies joined in, preventing the death. But that incident had taken place while inmates’ cell doors were open and they could mill about in the common area. There had not been a suicide at the county jail in at least 20 years–based on immediately available archives–and likely longer.
Klos was arrested on Sept. 27 after John Tietje, a 48-year-old owner of a custom-construction business in Palm Coast, reported to the sheriff’s office that Klos had made death threats against him and his wife. Klos was seeking repayment for work he’d paid for but was dissatisfied with. After telling Tietje and his wife in a Sept. 28 email that either Tietje or his father-in-law would have to pay him, Klos wrote words that now seem ominous in retrospect: “I would not want to go to my grave knowing the devastation and suffering to my family was caused by my failure to accept responsibility in honoring my commitment.”
But then he added lines that landed him in jail: “Imagine yourself being attached to a time bomb which can be triggered at any given moment. Or imagine your daughter having to spend the rest of her life wearing a veil to conceal the horrific scars caused by the acid burn to her face. Lady, this is NO GAME! The very fact that you are reading this convinces me BEYOND a SHADOW OF ANY DOUBT WHATSOEVER that your family has never encountered ANYONE like myself. I’m all done being a nice guy.”
Klos then dismisses going to court as “throwing money at a problem” and writes that the matter will be settled out of court “either amicably or adversely,” adding: “My people are in place and are ready to act if he chooses incorrectly. So, my money by next week or…” He warns Tietje that no one should contact him but Tietje’s father in law, or else “I will consider it the epitome of disrespect which will set in motion a situation that only a lunatic would want.”
The day after Klos’s arrest, Tietje filed for an injunction against Klos. A circuit judge was scheduled to hear that petition on Oct. 4.