A Westchester County, N.Y., mother of eight died in a police holding cell Monday afternoon while waiting to be arraigned for shoplifting, the New York Daily News reports, leaving a grieving husband demanding answers.
“I want to know why I can’t hold her anymore,” Herman Turner, 49, said, speaking of his wife of 23 years.
Raynette Turner was reportedly arrested on Saturday after she was caught shoplifting in Restaurant Depot, a food-service supplier, in Mount Vernon. Two days later, on Monday afternoon, after having waited over the weekend for her arraignment, she died in a police holding cell.
Herman Turner said that he waited in court all day for his wife’s arraignment and was merely told to come back the following day. Shortly after he returned home, two detectives arrived to tell him that his wife was dead.
Turner said their children, ranging in age from 8 to 21, were “completely distraught.”
“I don’t know what happened,” he said. “They won’t give me a time of death … what happened … nothing.”
According to the Daily News, Raynette Turner, who had bariatric surgery last year, was transported to Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital, which was across the street, after she told police she wasn’t feeling well. About two hours later she was returned to the holding cell, and by Monday afternoon she was dead.
Mount Vernon Deputy Commissioner Richard Burke said that “no foul play” was suspected in the sudden death. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause.
“Somebody didn’t do their job and my wife died for it,” Herman Turner told the Daily News.
Read more at the New York Daily News.