Autopsy: Ralkina Jones Death Ruled ‘Accidental’

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner released the cause of death for a Cleveland Heights woman who died in jail in July.

37-year-old Ralkina Jones’ death was “accidental,” according to the medical examiner.

Jones died of sudden cardiac death in association with postural tachycardia syndrome and obesity with amphetamine therapy.

The medical examiner also noted that Jones, who was found dead in a Cleveland Heights jail cell on July 26, was suffering from obstructive sleep apnea, according to ABC 5

The medical report also stated that Jones was using oxycodone, butalbital, alprazolam and zolpidem.

The City of Cleveland Heights released the following statement in regards to the findings:

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office released its finding today in the unfortunate death of Ralkina Jones. The reported cause of death listed in the Medical Examiner’s report is sudden cardiac death in association with postural tachycardia syndrome and obesity with amphetamine therapy.

Cleveland Heights has fully cooperated in the investigation of Ms. Jones’ death since she was found unresponsive in a holding cell on July 26. We offer once again our condolences to Ms. Jones’ loved ones.

Following the death of Ms. Jones, Cleveland Heights turned over all relevant information including jail logs, medical reports, and audio and video recordings to outside authorities and conducted an internal investigation and an examination of jail procedures and protocols.

This investigation continues even after the ruling by the medical examiner. Cleveland Heights has taken these additional steps:

1)    The Police Chief asked the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) to examine protocols and procedures in the jail from booking to dispensing of drugs to record keeping. This review is still pending.

2)    Technical experts were engaged to review the DVR system to determine why there were gaps in the tape other than gaps caused by motion sensors. Those reports have been released publicly and Cleveland Heights has taken all recommended measures to upgrade the DVR the system.

Cleveland Heights will continue to release any additional information that becomes available to keep the public fully informed.

All questions regarding the autopsy report should be directed to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office.

Cleveland Heights police released surveillance video from inside the jail shortly after her death, but that footage contained some noticeable gaps.

Medical log sheets showed discrepancies between Jones’ prescriptions and what she was given while in custody.

She suffered from heart disease, epilepsy, difficulty breathing and mental health, according to a jail intake form. She was taking prescription medications for her heart, blood pressure, anxiety, depression and seizures. Jones was also taking pain medication.