Kentrell Hurst, 36, was found unresponsive in her jail cell at the Orleans Parish Jail Sunday on Sunday. She had been booked into the jail on a shoplifting charge two days before she died.
Her exact cause of death remains under investigation but her death is eerily similar to the death of Dennis Edwards, 41, who also died two days into his stay at the same jail.
Edwards had also been placed on a detoxification protocol but died on the floor of the jail’s medical clinic.
Officials initially claimed Edwards died of natural causes but a whistleblower lawsuit filed against the warden last month claimed jail officials ignored her recommendation to take Edwards to the hospital.
Hurst, who was the mother of five children, was plagued by drug and alcohol addiction, according to her mother Laverne Phillips, who spoke to NOLA.Com about her daughter’s death.
She was arrested on May 25 at a local grocery store for allegedly stealing $56 worth of merchandise. She was booked into the jail and was held on an outstanding warrant for an assault charge. She notified intake officials of her regular heroin use and was placed on a drug detoxification protocol.
Officials say she refused her medicine at 7:45 p.m. on Sunday evening and was found unresponsive in her cell at 9:00 p.m. Paramedics performed lifesaving measures to no avail.
We will update this story as more information becomes available.