Family looking for answers after woman dies in Weber County Jail

Posted at 9:59 PM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-16 00:19:02-04

OGDEN, Utah -- An Ogden family is looking for answers after their loved one was found dead inside her jail cell just days after she was booked.

It was weeks ago when the family got the news that Marion Herrera had died at the Weber County Jail, but they still don't know what happened and they believe the jail staff neglected her.

“My aunt is a mom, she’s a sister, she’s a daughter, she had people who love her, and we don’t know, now she’s gone,” said Shaniqua Clopten, Herrera’s Niece.

At 3 a.m. on May 22, Marion Herrera was found alone, dead in her jail cell.

“None of us can heal because none of us know what’s going on,” Clopten said.

The family says Herrera was a heroin addict and would have been in need of intensive medical attention.

“She was coming off of drugs, when people are coming off drugs they need help," Clopten said. "They need people to watch them, anybody, it could happen to anybody."

Amidst the grief of losing their loved one, the family has a lot of unanswered questions.

“She was in their care the last time we saw her, and this is the end result: Did they do everything they could for her?” wondered Juanita Andrade, Herrera’s cousin.

At this point, they believe that answer is no and that Herrera's death could have been prevented.

“We don’t know if she fell off the bed, if they were watching her, if they did a protocol, if they gave her any medicine: We don’t know anything at all,” Clopten said.

Lt. Lane Findlay, Weber County Sheriff's Office, said they are still awaiting the results of an examination and toxicology report.

“Her death is still under investigation," Findlay said. "There was no obvious cause, so we’re waiting for results from the medical examiner's office on cause and toxicology and hopefully cause of death."

The sheriff's office confirms Herrera was in the medical unit, where they check on inmates every two hours.

“Although we use that label inmate, these are people’s sons and daughters, husbands, wives, and family members, so we certainly want them to have the best care when they are in our facility,” Findlay said.

The investigation continues as the family waits for answers.