Lanekia Michelle Brown, a pregnant 37-year-old black woman, was found dead in a Mississippi jail after complaining to officials that she was experiencing stomach pains.
It’s currently unclear when and how exactly Brown died. Brown’s mother, Margaret Johnson, told CBS-affiliate WJTV that a Mississippi Highway Patrol officer told her about her daughter’s death on December 23. Per Johnson’s account, the trooper said that Brown, who was awaiting trial for trafficking a controlled substance at the Madison County Detention Center, had complained of stomach pains to a guard. By the time the nurse arrived for a wellness check — after an unknown amount of time passed — Brown was found unresponsive and soon after declared dead.
“They did CPR on her over and over,” Johnson told WJTV. “Still didn’t get no response … So he just said she was gone.”
Brown’s family says she was between three and four weeks pregnant and did not have any health issues, pregnancy-related or otherwise. She also had two children whose ages have not yet been reported.
Upon learning of her daughter’s passing, Johnson drove down to the jail to collect her items and glean more details, but was told to come back later. On December 26, Brown’s family says they tried again, but were not allowed to identify the body. When asked by WJTV whether they suspected foul play, Brown’s family collectively said, “Yes.”
“I need to know what happened to her, where she at,” Johnson said. “They won’t tell me or give me no information. That’s my child. I love my child … I want to know where my child is.”
Per WJTV, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations is looking over the case, and the Madison County coroner will be performing an autopsy.