Ky. Teen Dies in Police Custody; Family Left With Few Answers

Gynnya McMillen, 16, was found unresponsive at the Lincoln Valley Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Elizabethtown on Jan. 11, and state and local officials have been tight-lipped about what may have caused the teen’s death.

Gynnya McMillen
Gynnya McMillen Facebook

The family of 16-year-old Gynnya McMillen is left with many questions and few answers after the teen was found unresponsive at a Kentucky juvenile-detention center.

According to CBS News, McMillen was found the morning of Jan. 11 at the Lincoln Valley Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Elizabethtown, Ky. But state and local officials have been tight-lipped as to what might have caused the teen’s death.

Hardin County, Ky., Coroner William Lee Jr. told CBS News Monday that “in an initial autopsy on Jan. 12, he saw no outward signs, such as ‘visual bruising,’ that could conclusively signal a cause of death.” Lee noted that full autopsy results won’t be available for weeks and added that it’s unlikely the teen suffered from a heart condition.

It’s unclear why Gynnya was being detained in a juvenile facility, but Karen Whaley, a residential counselor for Home of the Innocents, a Louisville, Ky.-based support-services agency, told the news site that the Gynnya she remembered was a “quiet, beautiful person.”

“Gynnya stayed to herself a whole lot,” Whaley told CBS News. “She didn’t bother anyone, she didn’t disturb anyone and didn’t kick up any fuss.”

With mounting questions and very few details, a woman claiming to be girl’s sister created the Facebook page Justice for Gynnya McMillen, in which she pleads for the release of information regarding McMillen’s death.

“My 16yr old sister died in custody of a detention center but they’re not giving out any info on how she was found and they’re saying [her] autopsy shows no cause of death,” the woman wrote in a Facebook post.

Whaley added that obtaining more information is vital to coming to grips with the loss of Gynnya.

“I don’t know how she passed, and that’s the one thing that’s blowing me away,” Whaley told CBS News. “That and it being in police custody.”

Read more at CBS News.