A resident of a Lamont group home who died in July was found to have suffocated and his death is a homicide, a coroner's office news release said Tuesday.

Kern County Sheriff's detectives have been investigating the death of 27-year-old Joseph Adam Lynch, but the status of the case Tuesday was unclear. Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said the homicide sergeant and the detective assigned to the case were both off Tuesday and he didn't know if it remained under investigation or had been submitted to the District Attorney's office.

Deputies were dispatched to the home in the 3000 block of Hinsley Street on July 9 for a report of vandalism. Lynch had been in an argument and punched a staff member in the face, and was then restrained by two or three other staff members and a resident.

Deputies said they found Lynch unresponsive when they arrived at the home and they began CPR. He was pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center about an hour later.