The Spokane County medical examiner’s office on Tuesday confirmed a 39-year-old woman died after ingesting opioids in the Spokane County Jail.
Carroll died after her cellmate shouted for help in the early hours of June 11. Nurses, corrections officers and paramedics found her unresponsive and gave her a dose of naloxone – a drug sold under the brand name Narcan that reverses opioid overdoses.
The medical examiner’s office said Carroll died of “combined drug toxicity due to simultaneous use of fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl and morphine.” Fentanyl is a powerful opioid increasingly found in heroin and linked to a surge in overdose deaths.
Mike Sparber, director of Spokane County Detention Services, previously said a bag containing a black substance was found in Carroll’s cell and would be tested as part of a Spokane County Sheriff’s Office investigation. Sparber has said he hopes to purchase X-ray scanners for the jail’s booking area to detect contraband hidden in body cavities.
Carroll, who long grappled with addiction and other health problems, had been serving time for a vehicular assault conviction stemming from a 2015 car crash in Spokane Valley. Her mother, Jana Akins, said Tuesday she believes her daughter’s death was preventable.
“Do 90 people have to die in there before they finally do something? You don’t deserve to die just because you’re in jail,” Akins said.
“I just want something done so that nobody else has to feel what I’ve gone through as her mother,” she said. “It’s the worst pain imaginable.”
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.