Sheriff’s office: Female inmate who died in cell overdosed on smuggled fentanyl

EDITOR’S NOTE: The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office released the following press release Aug. 9, 2017, regarding the July 15 death of Andrea Roberts in her LaPorte County Jail cell: 

The LaPorte County Sheriff’s Office has concluded the investigation into the death of a jail inmate that occurred in July. Andrea Roberts, 35, was found unresponsive in her cell on Saturday, July 15, 2017. The jail supervisor that discovered her immediately began efforts to resuscitate and LaPorte County Emergency Medical Service transported her to LaPorte Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

At the direction of Sheriff Boyd, detectives from the sheriff’s office along with investigators from the LaPorte County Drug Task Force began an investigation into the incident. The LaPorte County Coroner’s Office also conducted a full forensic autopsy to determine the cause and manner of death. The results of the autopsy and toxicology testing done by the coroner’s office determined that Andrea Roberts’ death was caused by an accidental overdose of narcotics and that there were lethal amounts of fentanyl in her system. The narcotic fentanyl is often used to lace heroin or in some cases, is sold represented to be heroin. Fentanyl is much more potent than heroin and even when ingested in small amounts can cause death. LaPorte County Coroner Bob Cutler stated, “Through the investigation done by my office we were able to determine that this death was caused by the victim and not at the hands of anyone else.”

Sheriff Boyd was advised by the investigators that the inmates who may have knowledge of how the narcotics were brought into the jail were not cooperative and would not give statements. At this point, due primarily to the lack of cooperation in the investigation, detectives are not able to prove who smuggled the narcotics into the jail or who may have supplied them to Andrea Roberts. A separate investigation resulted from this case and did lead to charges being filed against inmates who were smuggling narcotics into the jail.

“Our jail staff’s hands are tied when it comes to searching certain areas of the body,” Boyd said, acknowledging that drugs are often brought into the jail in this manner. “We are working to add another layer of security for our facility and hope to purchase a full-body scanner for use of all arrestees brought into the jail. The funds for the purchase are in place and we will be seeking the approval for this purchase from the LaPorte County Council.”

2 Responses to “Sheriff’s office: Female inmate who died in cell overdosed on smuggled fentanyl”

  1. Keven Putnam a.k.a. mr.pottawattamie park

    Aug 09. 2017

    How very sad……

    Reply to this comment
  2. Very sad

    Aug 09. 2017

    What kind of people who may know where she got the drug from won’t say anything? She’s dead because of this and they are worried about what? Losing their dealer?

    Reply to this comment

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