Another mysterious death of a woman while in custody has left many unanswered questions as police refuse to reveal the cause of death.
Ralkina Jones, 37, a mother of an 11-year-old daughter, died Sunday morning at the Cleveland Heights jail in Ohio.
She had been in custody since Friday, July 24, following a fight with her husband at his place of employment.
The medical examiner’s office stated “the death does not appear to be suspicious,” and an autopsy conducted Monday reportedly revealed no “suspicious injuries.” And the department still has not released any further information.
“[My sister] would want us to find out why,” Jones’ sister, Renee Ashford, told Cleveland.com. “You can’t just tell me one minute I seen my sister, then the next day she dead. That don’t even make sense. And it’s just, ‘I can’t help you. I can’t tell you.’ Like, no. That’s un-human.”
Ashford told Cleveland.com that her sister had been taken to the hospital on Saturday for problems with her blood pressure and blood sugar, but that she appeared to be in good health when her family had visited her that same day.
“She was perfectly fine. She didn’t complain of nothing, saying she was hurting or anything,” Ashford said.
The department has reportedly not even released any information to her family, according to Ashford, despite the family calling and begging to be filled in on the details surrounding their loved one’s death.
“Every time we call we don’t get an answer and that’s the upsetting part,” Ashford said.
Jones is not the first member of this family to die while in the custody of law enforcement. Her uncle, Craig Bickerstaff, was killed by the Cleveland police in 2003.
Bickerstaff was beaten with a baton and sprayed him with pepper spray for attempting to flee from police. He was ultimately shot and killed during the struggle. He was also the son of a Cleveland police officer Roscoe Bickerstaff, who died in 1987. The family received $22,500 in a settlement because of his death.