ATLANTA - A family wants answers after their mentally ill loved on was found dead inside the Atlanta City Jail.
“What was she going through? That’s the hurting part. That's what has really, really devastated our family,” said Mildred Sims.
Sims told Channel 2 investigative reporter Mark Winne that her sister Wickie Bryant had been arrested in for disorderly conduct.
Records state Bryant was "a demented released patient that was refusing to leave” the entrance of an Atlanta hospital on Sept. 14.
On Oct. 13, Bryant was found dead in Atlanta’s city jail.
A report by Fulton County Medical Examiner's Office investigator Betty Honey indicates Bryant was in the mental wing of the jail at the time of her death. Honey said she was told inmates there are supposed to be checked on hourly.
But the report says, “The decedent is found in full rigor,” and goes on to say, “It appears she had been dead in her cell for hours before she was found.”
“That's heartbreaking,” Sims told Winne.
The Medical Examiner’s Office provided the autopsy report. Dr. Karen Sullivan, the examiner, said Bryant died of complications from diabetes.
Sullivan said with the information they have, there is no way to know if earlier discovery of Bryant in her jail cell might have saved her life
“We're investigating the situation to determine whether or not she received the proper medication or treatment in this case,” said attorney Stephen Fowler.
Honey's report goes on to say, “The portion of the floor that she is housed on has no lights. The jail advised they have reported this, but they have not been fixed. So the cell is completely in the dark.”
“I can’t imagine what happened the last hours of her death,” Sims said.
“Because of the statements in the ME's report we are eager to investigate this case, get some more answers,” attorney M.J. Blakely Jr. said.
“It’s very, very hard,” Sims said. “The Lord has given me strength to get through this and my family.”