Here’s a step-by-step guide to the booking process at Larimer County Jail. Wochit
The female inmate found unresponsive in her Larimer County Jail cell in February died due to an accidental heroin overdose, according to an opinion letter from the district attorney.
Deputies responded to Jenny Roelfs, 30, after her cellmate reported she was unconscious and had blood coming from her nose just before 5 a.m. Feb. 18, according to the letter released Tuesday by Eighth Judicial District Attorney Clifford Riedel. Despite lifesaving measures by both jail staff and Poudre Fire Authority, Roelfs was pronounced dead at 5:49 a.m., the letter said.
The Critical Incident Response Team conducted the investigation. CIRT is a multi-agency team most commonly known for investigating police shootings, but it can also investigate incidents involving officers that result in serious injury or death, including car crashes, as well as incidents in the Larimer County Jail.
Investigators searched Roelfs’ cell and found drug paraphernalia and a substance suspected to be heroin, according to Riedel.
During Roelfs’ autopsy, a plastic bag containing what is suspected to be heroin was found in her underwear, the letter said. The coroner found no trauma or other injuries and previously said no foul play was suspected.
The criminal investigation of how the heroin may have been introduced into the Larimer County Jail and into Roelfs’ possession is ongoing, Riedel said in the letter.
Inmates are searched by deputies and using the jail’s body scanner upon arrival at the jail and at various times throughout their jail stay, spokesman David Moore told the Coloradoan.
The most common way people will try to get drugs into the jail is by putting them in a body cavity. Deputies don’t do those types of searches, but the body scanner may catch it, Moore said. Like all machines, the body scanner isn’t perfect, Moore said, and the scans are up for interpretation.
K-9s are walked through housing pods and the booking area at random intervals or when a deputy reports suspicious behavior, Moore said, but they don’t sniff people, only places.
The sheriff’s office’s K-9 officers stationed at the jail sniff for heroin, among other drugs, Moore previously told the Coloradoan.
The K-9 deputies must meet state standards to become certified, and they must retest to prove they continue to meet those standards at regular intervals.
According to jail booking records, Roelfs was booked into Larimer County Jail after a court appearance Jan. 8.
Roelfs’ death is the third known inmate death at Larimer County Jail in the past three years.
Daniel Reffett, 43, was found unresponsive on Jan. 25, 2019, and died on Feb. 10 at Medical Center of the Rockies. His death was ruled a suicide.
Prior to that, 35-year-old inmate Lacy Briles died one day after being found unresponsive in the jail in December 2017. Her death was also ruled a suicide.
Reporter Sady Swanson contributed to this report.
Brooklyn Dance covers breaking news and K-12 education. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @hibrookIyn.
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