Newly obtained records from Cleveland Heights Police Department show that Ralkina Jones, the 37-year-old mother who was found dead in her jail cell last month, might have been improperly medicated in the hours leading up to her death.
Jones was taken into custody the evening of Friday, July 24 after she was reportedly involved in a domestic dispute with her husband. The following day, she alerted officers that she suffered from high blood pressure, depression and seizures among other ailments, and body camera footage shows her telling them that she didn’t “want to die” in their cell. Jones became sick later that evening and was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed with low blood sugar and released back into police custody. The following morning, she was found dead in her jail cell. A medical examiner is still determining a cause of death.
NBC News obtained the prisoner’s medication log and the main jail log, but the two records showed discrepancies. The medication log states that Jones received two doses of medication, while the main log indicates that she was given three doses. Authorities also doubled the dose of her depression medication.
“She had several medications that basically work on the serotonin receptors in the brain, and if you take multiple medications that stimulate serotonin in the brain, that can cause over-stimulation and what we call serotonin syndrome,” University of Arizona pharmacist Dr. Jeannie Lee told NBC News, referring to a potentially lethal disease that stems from taking multiple medications at once.
Jones’ family has hired a lawyer, and the case is currently under investigation.