Gregg Co. inmate's death sparks questions from family - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Gregg Co. inmate's death sparks questions from family

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An East Texas family is wanting answers after their mother died while in the custody of Gregg County officials.

Debra Duffie died Monday morning at a Longview hospital.

She was booked in to the Gregg County Jail for a violation of probation for an assault family violence charge.

"We didn't get a chance to talk to our mom or anything, we didn't get a chance to," said LaChance Clark.

Clark is the oldest of Duffie's three children.  

"My main thing is that even though she was in jail doing time, she is still a human being and you know, no one deserves to die like this. I mean, she was alone. That's the hardest thing for me and my sister and brother that she you know, died alone. She was by herself, you know, and that's why we want answers," Clark said.

Gregg County Sheriff Maxey Cerliano said the jail's doctor ordered Duffie to be taken to the hospital Sunday evening for medical treatment.

On the way to the hospital, he said she suffered a significant cardiac event.

"A church associate called me and told me, 'Your mother is in ICU and she is fighting for her life.' And I'm like what? What's going on? Nothing was functioning; she was on life support. She was in ER until about 7 p.m. They gave her dialysis, emergency dialysis, none of that worked. She was not responsive at all," Clark said.  

Duffie was pronounced dead at 5:12 Monday morning.

"It's so hard by me being the oldest, I have a younger sister and brother, that you know, I have to stay strong for them because they are a wreck right now, they are a nervous wreck. So I have to stay strong so I can make sure they are okay," Clark said. 

Clark said right now, they are arranging Duffie's funeral, but once they have a chance to grieve, Clark said she has some questions for officials.

"We're not going to try to fight anyone on anything, but in the end, the Bible says that vengeance is mine. You know, God will repay what's wrong," Clark said.

She said she is relying on something much stronger than she is to carry her family through.

"It's really my faith. I am a child of God, so I know that God will see us through. I just know by my faith we're going to get some answers," Clark said.

Clark said her mother's funeral will be on Saturday. The Texas Rangers are assisting in the investigation launched by the Gregg County Sheriff's Department. Officials expect Duffie's preliminary autopsy results within the next 24 hours.

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