Woman arrested on shoplifting charge found dead in holding cell

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. -- Police in Westchester County said a woman under arrest was found dead in a holding cell.

Mount Vernon Mayor Earnest Davis said 44-year-old Raynetta Turner had been arrested Saturday on a shoplifting charge for the third time recently. She was found unresponsive and lying on her side on a wooden bench in her holding cell Monday afternoon.

According to Davis, Turner reported various medical issues at the time of her arrest, and she was taken to Montefiore-Mount Vernon Hospital. She was then released back to police custody Sunday evening.

Here's the timeline of events, as per a news release from the city:

* Saturday afternoon: Turner arrested, taken to hospital

* Sunday 10 p.m.: Turner returned to cell after being released from hospital

* Monday 2 a.m.: Turner removed from cell for fingerprinting, returned a short time later

* Monday 2 p.m.: Officers tried to wake Turner for her court appearance, and she was unresponsive. EMS was called and pronounced her dead a short time later

The mayor said Turner previously had bariatric surgery and a history of hypertension.

Mount Vernon police, the Westchester County Medical Examiner, the Westchester County District Attorney's Office and the New York State Attorney General's Office are all investigating.