ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — A woman was in custody at Santa Rita Jail for only two days before she died while suffering from withdrawals, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office. This is the third in-custody death at the jail in a month.
Elizabeth Laurel, 39, was found unresponsive inside of her cell around 7 p.m. during a general observation of the unit. Paramedics attempted to revive her, but she was later pronounced dead around 7:42 p.m., according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Laurel arrived at the jail on Saturday afternoon when the San Leandro Police Department dropped her off after a felony warrant was issued for her arrest. She was booked into jail on drug charges, according to the sheriff’s office.
The sheriff’s office says the woman was the sole occupant of her cell. The preliminary investigation showed “no obvious signs of trauma or foul play,” according to the sheriff’s office. Laurel had a history of addiction, and she was under the jail’s “withdrawal protocols” for opioids and alcohol.
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Laurel’s family was notified of her death on Tuesday. The Alameda County Medical Examiner will determine Laurel’s cause of death, and a full report will be sent to the California Attorney General’s Office.
Two other in-custody deaths have been reported at Santa Rita Jail within the past month. The first death was reported on Jan. 18, when Stephen Lofton, 39, died alone inside his cell, according to the sheriff’s office.
Earlier this month, Charles Johnson, 45, was found unresponsive in his cell, of which he was also the sole occupant. Johnson was placed on a ventilator, and just two days later, he died at a local hospital.