A male patient in his 30s was found dead in his room Thursday evening at the Clifton T. Perkins Hospital Center, police said.

The man was discovered by hospital staff shortly before 8 p.m., according to a statement by Maryland State Police spokesman Maj. Greg Shipley.

Perkins is the state's maximum-security mental hospital, located in Jessup.

The death has not been declared a homicide, but police are considering it as a possibility, Shipley said.

Last week, a 22-year-old patient was killed at the facility. Authorities believe last week's killing is only the second since the facility was opened, 50 years ago. The first took place just 13 months earlier.

The body of the man found Thursday will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for an autopsy, to determine the cause and manner of death.

State police will continue investigating throughout the night and update the public Friday, the statement said.

The patient will be identified after his family is notified of his death.

steve.kilar@baltsun.com

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