HOUTZDALE — An inmate at SCI-Houtzdale who was found dead in his cell late on Aug. 29 was the victim of a homicide.
According to Clearfield County Coroner Kim Shaffer Snyder, Garrick Landon Bloom, 48, died from ligature strangulation. She ruled his death a homicide.
The incident is currently under investigation by Clearfield-based state police. District Attorney Ryan Sayers said it is believed Bloom’s death was the result of an inmate-on-inmate altercation involving Bloom’s cellmate.
Authorities have a known suspect and charges are pending upon the completion of the investigation, Sayers said.
According to a press release from SCI-Houtzdale, Bloom was serving a 40 to 80-year sentence after he was convicted in late 2019 of raping a child in Clarion County. He was transferred to SCI Houtzdale in early December.
Bloom was originally charged with more than 800 counts of sexual offenses including statutory sexual assault, rape forcible compulsion, and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse from incidents in 2007, court documents say. He pleaded guilty to five counts of rape of a child.
According to a death notice that was published in The Progress, Bloom was formerly of Curwensville and Shippenville, Clarion County.
An autopsy was performed on Bloom at the Mount Nittany Medical Center by Dr. Harry Kamerow of State College, according to Shaffer.