A woman has passed away while in custody of the Sullivan County Jail under mysterious circumstances. Indiana State Police investigators are now tasked with finding out why. Could the death be caused by foul play, or professional negligence on behalf of the jail staff?
According to the police, the woman was taken into custody early Saturday morning for suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated. She was kept in a single-person holding cell that was under constant video surveillance. Hours later, at around 8:00 PM on Saturday, February 2nd, 2019, staff members heard the woman “in a state of medical distress.”
Upon reaching the cell, jail staff attempted to provide first aid while emergency medical technicians were on route. It is not known at this time what sort of first aid was given, or what symptoms the woman was exhibiting. After being taken to the Sullivan County Community Hospital for furthered treatment, she passed away about one hour later.
Police investigators say there are no obvious signs of self-harm or foul play. However, it is unusual for the woman to begin suffering a dire medical condition so many hours after being taken in custody. She was only 46-years old at the time of her death. Pending autopsy results may have reveal more information.
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It is the unshakable duty of jail staff and officers to ensure the safety and health of everyone in custody. The pending autopsy and investigation could reveal the jail staff was negligent in its duty of care owed to this woman, and, therefore, the jail staff would be liable for her death. Her surviving family members may be able to pursue justice and compensation through a wrongful death claim.
At Wagner Reese, we feel it is absolutely unthinkable for someone to pass away while in police custody and under 24/7 surveillance. If you have lost a loved one while they were in custody, then you deserve justice and closure. Our team of wrongful death lawyers in Indiana have the experience and knowledge needed to handle highly-sensitive jail death cases. For a compassionate and effective approach to your case, contact us at (888) 204-8440 for a free consultation.