Detainee dies after collapsing in Carson City Jail

Carolyn Sue Gray died at Washoe Medical Center on Saturday morning following an arrest in Carson City on a year-old warrant for contempt of court.

Arrested Friday afternoon at 1:30 p.m., the 57-year-old Gray was transported to Carson City's detention facility where she was held for about six hours. She had a history of high blood pressure, seizures and heart problems and collapsed during booking at around 7:30 p.m. She was rushed to Carson-Tahoe Hospital, then transported to Washoe Medical Center where she died at 4:13 a.m. Saturday.

The cause of death was not immediately known, but daughter Vanessa Gray said doctors suspect a stroke or bleeding into the brain. She expressed frustration over the way the incident was handled. Concerned because her mother was in bad health, Gray said she called the Sheriff's Department for information but all efforts proved futile. She said her mother was fine when she talked to a friend at 11:30 a.m. Friday, but officials did not or would not keep her informed.

"She was arrested Friday and held without being booked. She was in there on a year-old warrant and the cop that was talking to me didn't know anything," she said. "No one did. How could they not give us any information whatsoever? We just don't know."

Scott Burau, spokesperson for the Carson City Sheriff's Department, said detainees such as Gray are usually released unless they pose a threat to the community or are a flight risk. But in this case the court did not want to release her because she failed to appear the first time she was brought up on this warrant.

"In cases like these we usually forego bail and release the individual without booking. We don't require them to post money, property or bond to be released," Burau said. "We knew she had major medical concerns and our facility is not equipped with a full staff to handle these situations, but we didn't have a choice. The court wanted her to appear."

A 13-year Carson City resident, Gray was on disability, but had worked as a catering organizer as well as many other jobs, according to her daughter.

"She did a lot of different things. She was generous and trusting and she will be missed," she said.

Gray said her mother was originally arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, but in truth it was the property of the people living with her.

"She got nailed for it," she said. "But she wasn't that kind E She only had enough money to live and she couldn't do the required community service because she couldn't walk down the stairs."

In addition to her daughter, Gray had two sons. Gerald Miller is 32 and Chris Miller is 37.

An autopsy was performed Saturday to determine the exact cause of death.


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