Inmate who died in Whatcom County identified as Lummi woman
BELLINGHAM, Wash. (AP) — A Whatcom County jail inmate who died Thursday has been identified as a woman who lived on the Lummi Reservation.
The Bellingham Herald reports Lummi Nation police booked 48-year-old Paula Lee Jefferson into jail on suspicion of driving under the influence about 22 hours before her death.
Sheriff Bill Elfo says her blood-alcohol content tested high, but staff at St. Joseph hospital found her medically fit to be transferred to jail.
Elfo says Jefferson was alone in a cell for inmates who are intoxicated and says Jefferson responded to jail staff when they checked on her around noon Thursday.
Staff arrived to bring her lunch 10 minutes later and found her unconscious. They performed CPR and called for paramedics.
An autopsy was scheduled for Friday, but no details had been released as of Friday night.