- Associated Press - Monday, January 27, 2014

EL DORADO, Ark. (AP) - Authorities in Union County are investigating after a 43-year-old woman died after complaining of breathing problems in jail.

Cynthia Brock was booked Thursday in the county jail after pleading guilty to first-degree sexual assault, Union County Sheriff Mike McGough said. The sheriff told the El Dorado News-Times (https://bit.ly/LeL0eD ) that a deputy made regular rounds Friday night and Brock had her CPAP breathing machine and reported no problems.

But later that night, Brock alerted jail staff that she was having problems breathing, and she was taken to Medical Center of South of Arkansas.

“The staff heard something, went to where she was, and she had her inhaler in her mouth and was having trouble breathing,” McGough said.

Brock died early Saturday at the hospital, McGough said.

The sheriff said jail staff members knew Brock suffered from various medical conditions, and special arrangements were made to accommodate her. She was being held in a private area, rather than a cell, so she would be in closer proximity to staff if she needed help, he said. A Union County Sheriff’s Office employee checked on her about every 30 minutes, according to the sheriff.

“We take special precautions when we have an inmate with any medical condition,” McGough said.

Union County Coroner Curtis Butterfield said he believes Brock was conscious when she alerted jail staff to her distress by pounding on the door to the room she was in, but at some point between her contact with staff and the ambulance arrival, she became unresponsive.

Butterfield said there were no signs of foul play in Brock’s death and that either a respiratory ailment or cardiac event caused her death. He added that Brock suffered from multiple medical ailments when she was booked into the jail.

“It’s protocol that we send cases like this to the state crime lab, and that will give us some more answers,” he said.


Information from: El Dorado News-Times, https://www.eldoradonews.com

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