State police conclude Jennings jail death investigation

NORTH VERNON — Indiana State Police have concluded an investigation into a May death at the Jennings County Jail and provided a report to the Jennings County Prosecutor’s Office. No details were released Thursday.

State police investigated the death of Sandra I. Ray, 35, who was found unresponsive in a cell at the jail in North Vernon shortly after 7:30 a.m. on May 26. Efforts by jail staff and emergency medical services to revive her failed, and she was pronounced dead a short time later, state police previously said.

The Jennings County Sheriff’s Office, which oversees the jail, subsequently requested an ISP investigation.

“The prosecutor will most likely issue his findings upon properly reviewing the investigation and making a determination whether any legal action is necessary,” said Sgt. Stephen Wheeles, public information officer for the ISP post in Versailles.

Wheeles referred questions to Jennings County Prosecutor Brian Belding, who did not immediately respond Thursday to a message seeking comment.

Authorities to date have declined to release Ray’s cause of death or an arrest report. Jennings County Coroner Alden Rudicel was unavailable for comment Thursday as to Ray’s cause and manner of death, which is a public record.

Ray was jailed on the evening of May 24 after she was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, ISP previously said.

State police said previously that Ray was housed in a cell by herself and was the only person in her cell at the time of her death.