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Iowa Department of Public Safety
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, Iowa 50319
www.dps.state.ia.us

For immediate release: Alex Murphy
 

Public Information Officer
Investigative Operations
Iowa Department of Public Safety

February 22, 2016

amurphy@dps.state.ia.us
(515) 443-3014 - cell
(515) 725-6189 - office

Iowa DCI Investigating Page County Inmate Death

PAGE COUNTY, Iowa—On December 1, 2015, the Iowa Department of Public Safety’s (DPS) Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) was called to assist the Page County Sheriff’s Office with an inmate death.

On November 19, 2015, Jessica Lee, 25, of Council Bluffs, was arrested and booked into the Page County Jail for Possession of controlled substance (PCS), Possession of Paraphernalia, Providing False Information and Interference with Official Acts. On the evening of December 1, 2015, jailers at the Page County Jail found Lee unresponsive in her cell. Emergency personnel were called and provided medical aid.  She was transported to University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in Omaha.

On December 2, 2015, Jessica Lee died at UNMC.

An autopsy was performed on Jessica Lee at the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner in Ankeny on December 3, 2015. The cause and manner of death was acute methamphetamine toxicity.  No foul play is suspected in this case.

 As to how Lee was able to possess and ultimately overdose while in custody; it was discovered that hours before Lee was found unresponsive, she had placed a recorded call to someone outside the jail stating she was dying.  Lee admitted to the person she called that she had snuck meth into the jail inside a body cavity. Neither Lee nor the person she called contacted anyone at the Page County Jail to notify them of Lee’s statements or condition.

The Page County Sheriff’s Office, Page County Attorney’s Office, Iowa Department of Public Safety’s Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation and the Iowa Office of the State Medical Examiner continue to investigate this case.

Media Contact: Iowa DCI Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Darrell Simmons at (712) 322-1585.



Jessica Lee, 25

 

Note: A criminal charge is merely an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
 

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