A Black woman has died under mysterious circumstances while in custody of Indiana State Police.
Ta’Neasha Chappell of Louisville, KY, was at the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown, IN, being held on shoplifting charges. Chappell, 23, was arrested on May 26, Newsweek reports.
A statement from Indiana State Police says that Chappell was taken by ambulance to Schneck Memorial Hospital in Seymour, IN, on Friday (July 16). She died at the hospital later that day.
Authorities are still investigating the circumstances around Chappell’s death. An autopsy was performed Sunday (July 18) but a final report and toxicology results are pending.
Chappell’s family are demanding answers. Chappell’s mother, Lavita McCain, told WDRB television that her daughter was in good health when they spoke a day before her death, though Chappell was having problems with other Jackson County inmates.
“She called numerous times—over and over saying that ‘they are going to kill me. Get me out of here,’” McCain said.
Chappell’s father, Donte Chappell, added, “I think there is some foul play involved in it because she was the only Black girl in that jail.”
“It is unsettling, we want justice, we want answers—we have a lot of questions and no answers still,” Ta’Neasha’s sister, Ronesha Murrell, added.
Chappell’s family told WHAS that a detective informed them of Chappell’s death on Sunday (July 18) but provided little information, only telling them that Chappell reported feeling sick to jail officials before the ambulance was called.
Her family also said that they received worrying phone calls from Chappell over the past two months she was imprisoned, and they were worried her calls for help went unanswered.
“I believe they neglected her. They neglected her need, [and] protection. She spoke to me numerous times — phone calls, telling me they were going to kill her in there,” Murrell said.
A GoFundMe page set up by the family described Chappell as “a loving mother, sister, daughter, and friend who touched the lives of many around her.”
“She leaves behind her 10 year old daughter Nevaeh who will miss her terribly. We are all devastated by her loss but are working tirelessly to figure out the events that transpired moments before her passing,” the page reads.