The family of Lanekia Michelle Brown, 37, wants to know why their pregnant loved one recently passed away in a Mississippi jail over the weekend.
According to WJTV News, Lanekia was awaiting trial for marijuana trafficking in the Madison County Detention Center when she complained of having stomach pains. By the time the nurse arrived to check on her, Lanekia was dead.
She was roughly 3-4 months pregnant.
Lanekia’s family told the news station that on Dec. 23, Mississippi Highway Patrol Officer came to her mother, Margaret Johnson’s, home to inform her that her daughter had died in police custody.
“They did CPR on her over and over… still didn’t get no response… So he just said she was gone,” Johnson recalled.
After learning of her daughter’s death, Johnson and other family members drove down to the jail to get more information about Lankekia’s death and to collect her belongings. But when they arrived, they were told to come back on Dec. 26 instead. However, when the came back as instructed, the family claims they weren’t able to identify her body.
While Lanekia was in the early stages of her pregnancy, her family stressed that the 37-year-old mother of two, didn’t suffer from any other health conditions.
The family is clear: They do not trust the authorities’ explanation of what happened to Lanekia and they suspect foul play.
“It’s very suspicious because like I said we talked to her and she was okay. If she had any kind of problems, she would have let us know,” a family member told WJTV reporters.
In the meantime, Madison County authorities have yet to release a statement on the young mother’s death, but the Mississippi Bureau announced they will be in charge of investigating Lanekia’s case. That, and the results of an autopsy are still pending.
Many of us already know that Black women dying police custody isn’t new or rare.
Just last week, we reported that Janice Dotson-Stephens’ life, a 61-year-old grandmother of 10, died in a Texas jail after being held on $300 bail since July 17. She was reportedly charged with criminal trespassing and a history of mental illness.
While authorities claim that Dotson-Stephen’s death was natural, the coroner’s report has yet to be released to the public.
We’re praying for both Lanekia Michelle Brown and Janice Dotson-Stephens’ families.
This is a developing story. We will provide updates as they become available.