Fayette County woman dies after being arrested, jailed after seeking hospital treatment
September 9, 2015 10:58 PM
Blair-Lowther Funeral Home
By Jonathan D. Silver / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
An autopsy on a Fayette County mother who died Sunday after developing breathing problems at the Fayette County Prison did not reveal a “specific, apparent cause of death,” forensic pathologist Cyril H. Wecht said Wednesday.
Dr. Wecht, who performed the autopsy for the Fayette County coroner’s office, also said there is “no apparent evidence or suggestion or suspicion of foul play” in the death of Jeana M. Scott, though he noted that a review of lab tests, hospital records and jail paperwork is still underway.
Fayette County Coroner Phillip E. Reilly launched an investigation into the death of Ms. Scott, 27, of Newell. He said in a news release that his first priority, in an attempt to provide peace of mind to Ms. Scott’s relatives, was “the most accurate review of the circumstances related to this unexpected family tragedy.”
Uniontown police arrested Ms. Scott Saturday on two bench warrants upon her discharge from Uniontown Hospital. She was taken to jail about five hours later and was then returned to the hospital when she developed “respiratory difficulties,” according to Dr. Reilly.
Ms. Scott died Sunday at the hospital at 8:52 a.m.
Ms. Scott was facing charges of criminal conspiracy, receiving stolen property and false report to law enforcement stemming from a 2013 incident in Newell. In Westmoreland County, court records indicate that she was delinquent in her payments for restitution through an accelerated rehabilitative disposition program for cases involving charges of retail theft, receiving stolen property and theft by deception.
Uniontown police Lt. Tom Kolencik, who took Ms. Scott into custody after getting a tip that she was at the hospital, said he explained the situation to her and her family.
“She understood and willingly came with us,” Lt. Kolencik said. “The family encouraged her to get this taken care of and put it behind her. She couldn’t have been any more cooperative or any nicer.”
Ms. Scott told him that she had gone to the hospital for back pain and an ear ache due to a swimming accident, the lieutenant said. He added that she complained about the back pain while she was in custody.
Lt. Kolencik said he could not have taken Ms. Scott to jail without express clearance from the hospital. He said the hospital provided him with a slip of paper “that literally has to say ’cleared for incarceration.’ ”
The lieutenant said he did not notice that Ms. Scott had any breathing problems or experienced any distress between her arrest around 4:30 p.m. and her transport to jail around 9:15 p.m.
Early Sunday, Dr. Reilly said, Ms. Scott experienced respiratory difficulties. She was taken to the nurses’ station for evaluation when she “experienced a sudden deterioration of vital signs.” She was given CPR and was taken to the hospital.
Jail Warden Brian Miller could not be reached for comment.
Ms. Scott, a 2006 graduate of Frazier High School, had two children, according to an obituary provided by the Blair-Lowther Funeral Home in Perryopolis. Her family could not be reached for comment.
Jonathan D. Silver: email@example.com, 412-263-1962 or on Twitter @jsilverpg.