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ER records provide new information in Indiana jail death

According to the ER reports shared by family attorneys, medical staff had 'concern the patient may be ingested ethylene glycol or methanol.'

SEYMOUR, Ind. — Newly obtained medical records are providing more information about a Louisville woman's death while she was incarcerated at a southern Indiana jail.

Tae'nesha Chappell, 23, died at Schneck Medical Center July 16 hours after being transported from the Jackson County Jail.

According to the ER reports shared by family attorneys, medical staff had "concern the patient may be ingested ethylene glycol or methanol" based off of initial lab results done at the hospital.

Ethylene glycol is a chemical compound used in antifreeze and hydraulic brake fluids. Methanol is used in some cleaning agents. Both are poisonous to consume per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

Indiana State Police are currently investigating Chappell's death, but have not released her cause of death.

"Y'all don't know how it got into her body, y'all didn't really see anything of her doing anything," said Ronesha Murrell, Chappell's sister. "I know it's not suicide because they would have said that, y'all know it's not suicide. So if y'all don't know, if none of your officers can tell you what happened, that's a problem."

Murrell said the timeline is also a problem, wanting to know why her sister was not helped sooner. She is asking for video from the jail to be released.

Lonita Baker, one of the attorneys representing Chappell's family, said the sheriff's office told the family Chappell spiked a fever July 15. The jail said they began monitoring Chappell every 15 minutes.

Medical documents show Chappell also had "been vomiting" that night, but it was not until 2 p.m. July 16 that the jail called for a non-emergent transport.

"It wasn't until she was found unresponsive that they called EMS," Baker said. 

EMS records show Chappell was speaking and had a strong pulse when she was loaded into the ambulance. Paramedics described her skin and eyes as showing yellow discoloration, and they noted a large bump on her forehead. 

Chappell was kept in handcuffs and ankle restraints for the right, and paramedics did not use lights or sirens. It took 45 minutes from the initial call for Chappell to get to the hospital.

When she did arrive, the medical center said Chappell was moaning in bed and using "unintelligible speech." She was admitted at 3:01 p.m. and died at 5:42 p.m.

Listed under Chappell's death is anemia, cardiac arrest and metabolic acidosis. The medical examiner has completed an autopsy, but the coroner is waiting for more test results before determining a cause of death.

Chappell's family said they received concerning phone calls from Chappell while she was in jail over the last two months and were worried her calls for help went unanswered.

"She told me if something happened to her to get to the bottom of it," Murrell said. "Our last conversation I think she just put on a big front, I don't think she wanted us to know what she was going through."

WHAS11 reached out to ISP for any updates, but have not heard back. They previously said they were awaiting autopsy results.

RELATED: Attorney describes conditions at jail before Ta’Neasha Chappell’s death as ‘cruel and unusual punishment’

RELATED: Family of Louisville woman who died while in custody at southern Indiana jail holds protest in hopes of getting more information in case

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