UPDATE @ 12:35 p.m. (Jan. 26)
A Clark County jail inmate has been charged in connection with another inmate’s fatal drug overdose.
Marcia S. Galvan is charged with illegal conveyance of drugs into a detention facility; three counts of felony possession of drugs; three counts of felony drug trafficking; and one count of drug paraphernalia, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
The arrest comes after an investigation into the death of Kristy Parker in the jail.
Major Russell Garman said the investigation revealed Galvan reportedly smuggled drugs into the jail and then provided them to other female inmates.
Deputies believe Galvan brought the drugs into the jail inside a body cavity, then removed them and hid the contraband inside her bra, Garman said.
Galvan will be in Clark County Municipal Court at 10 a.m. Jan. 27 on the new charges.
UPDATE @ 4 p.m. (Jan. 22)
Kristy Parker’s daughter has been expecting the call saying her mother was dead for 10 years, ever since heroin addiction first took hold of her mom.
But she never thought it would come while her mom was incarcerated.
Parker, 32, was found unresponsive in her cell in the Clark County Jail late Wednesday night and pronounced dead soon after despite CPR efforts by jail staff and medics. Her exact cause of death hasn’t been determined but a drug overdose is suspected.
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is investigating how drugs may have gotten into the jail and who might have gave them to Parker.
“This is a correctional facility, why are there drugs inside?” her daughter Emily Everhart said.
Sheriff Gene Kelly said a targeted investigation is underway and every female inmate who was housed in Parker’s cell area is being questioned.
Anyone found to have brought drugs into the jail or to have given them to Parker could be charged, Kelly said.
Deputies did find drugs in the jail area during their initial investigation of her death, but not in Parker’s cell.
The current opiate and heroin epidemic is something the U.S. has never seen the likes of before, Kelly said, and keeping drugs out of the jail is a constant struggle.
“This is the hardest law enforcement challenge that we have today,” he said.
Inmates are searched every time they enter or re-enter the jail from work assignments, but deputies cannot perform cavity searches without a court order. Smuggling drugs into the jail inside body cavities has become a common practice, Kelly said.
Deputies have recently discovered other ways that drugs were getting in, including family or friends putting Suboxone strips on the back of stamps on letters to inmates. They’ve now begun removing all stamps from mail before delivering it to inmates.
“It shows how powerful this addiction is,” Kelly said, of the lengths individuals have gone to in order to get opiates.
In 2015, the sheriff’s office handled 76 reported overdoses and nine deaths, mostly from heroin. All of the victims were white, just over half were male. The youngest was a 13-year-old girl who attempted suicide by taking prescription pills but survived. The oldest was a 97-year-old man who also attempted suicide.
This epidemic doesn’t discriminate, Kelly said.
Parker’s addiction began about a decade ago, according to her family, following the death of a daughter at birth in 2005.
“She’s a good person when she’s not using,” Everhart said.
Parker had three surviving children, Everhart, 19; a 12-year-old son and a 6-year-old daughter.
Although her family loved her unconditionally, they often prayed she would end up in jail because it seemed like the safest place for her, her aunt Marsha Goines said.
“This has been the longest, hardest, most desperate, exhausting, devilish, horrifying and expensive road you could ever imagine being on,” her cousin Sydney Mollett wrote in a Facebook message about Parker’s life and addiction. “Heroin has literally ripped our family apart again, and we aren’t the only ones.”
Parker, of Springfield, was arrested more than a dozen times since 2006 for resisting arrest, solicitation and drug possession.
The family suffered another tragedy in 2013 when Parker’s cousin Schuyler Mollett was shot to death. An arrest was just made last month and the accused, Tacota Fields, is scheduled to be in court on Friday.
Things were looking up in other ways last year, the family said. They welcomed the birth of Parker’s first grandchild in July and she said this was her chance to get clean and get it right.
But in September she overdosed. Medics were able to revive her with Narcan and she was charged for the drug paraphernalia found at the scene.
Her family thought this would be the last time. She was supposed to be released to a treatment program this week.
Investigators are awaiting toxicology and autopsy results in order to pinpoint the exact cause of Parker’s death.
Everhart doesn’t completely blame the person who may have provided the drugs or the jail staff for her mother’s death because no one made Parker take them. But she thinks the person responsible should be charged.
The family would also like to see the jail spend money on upgrades like body scanners that might detect objects hidden in body cavities.
“I certainly wish we had body scanners,” Kelly said, but at more than $150,000 a piece, it’s cost prohibitive.
The jail staff and all deputy patrol cars will have a supply of Narcan in 2016, which can revive someone suffering from an overdose and has saved more than 12,000 people since use began in Ohio, according to Attorney General Mike DeWine.
The sheriff’s office seizes money from drug busts all the time, Everhart said. “Put that money to good use,” she said.
UPDATE @ 1:25 p.m. (Jan. 22)
The Clark County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death of a female inmate as a possible drug overdose.
A deputy found Kristy M. Parker, 32, of Springfield, unresponsive on the floor of her cell during a shift change check late Wednesday night. Deputies began CPR and called medics but she was pronounced dead at the jail shortly before midnight.
The initial investigation indicates that Parker may have gotten drugs from another woman prisoner in the jail. Anyone found to have brought drugs into the jail or who might have given them to Parker could be charged, Sheriff Gene Kelly said.
Investigators are awaiting toxicology and autopsy results to deterimine Parker’s cause of death. She had been held in the jail since September on a drug-related charge.
Deputies cannot perform cavity searches on inmates without a court order, according to the sheriff’s office. A regular search looking for contraband was performed on all female inmates, which led deputies to find drugs in Parker’s housing pod but not in her cell.
EARLIER REPORT (Jan. 22)
A female inmate died in the Clark County Jail late Wednesday night.
Clark County Sheriff Gene Kelly hasn’t released information about the circumstances of the death or identified the inmate, although family members have posted on social media about the victim.
The sheriff has planned a press conference at 11:15 a.m. to discuss the death. We’ll be there to cover it so check back for the latest updates on this story.