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A family is seeking answers as to why Joyce Curnell died while in custody.

The 50-year-old woman was arrested after she went to the ER with stomach flu last July, New York Daily News reports.

After she was treated she was taken from the hospital bed to a detention center because she did not pay overdue fines from a 2011 shoplifting case.

Court documents claim the woman, who also suffered from sickle cell, died while in prison after spending hours in jail dehydrated with the stomach flu.

Her family’s lawyers state that she was throwing up repeatedly after being taken to her cell. Authorities did not follow doctor’s instructions to give her prompt medical attention if she showed symptoms of vomiting, abdominal pain and dizziness.

Curnell was found dead around 5pm on July 22nd, 27 hours after she was detained.

“Simply put, Ms. Curnell died because she was deprived of water,” Dr. Maria Gibson wrote.

South Carolina law enforcement reviewed the case, but as of now, nobody has been held responsible for what happened. It’s tragic to see a life lost when simple fluids and medical attention could have saved her. Yet another example of a woman abused under the “care” of the law.

A “March For Joyce Curnell,” is planned for Friday morning. Hopefully this rally will bring about awareness and justice.


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South Carolina Woman Reportedly Died In Jail Because She Was Not Given Water  was originally published on