Lady dies whereas in custody at Franklin County jail; household suspects overdose

While Fredreca Ford’s family believe they died of a fentanyl overdose, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says this is speculation until the autopsy comes back.

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Mothers always remember their child’s first words. Reatha Freeman remembers the last of her daughter’s.

“The last I heard from my daughter is, ‘I’ll love you later,'” Freeman said. “And because of Jackson Pike, I’ll never hear your voice again.”

Freeman says her daughter, 29-year-old Fredreca Ford, is disabled. It was a violation of her probation and the rules of the halfway house where she was staying. It was a violation, Freeman says, that Ford knew he was going to take her back to jail.

“So my daughter can take her last breath at Jackson Pike,” she said. “That’s when she took her last breath.”

Freeman says Ford has been in jail since she was 13 and struggling with addiction. Freeman says Ford was taken to Jackson Pike Jail on June 25th and she was dead on June 26th.

“She was only there 11 hours,” said Freeman.

Freeman believes her daughter died of a fentanyl overdose.

“The day she overdose, it wasn’t just her,” Freeman said. “There were six at the same time.”

Labeling Ford’s death an overdose is speculation, according to Rick Minerd, the chief deputy of investigations at the Franklin County’s Sheriff’s Office. It could take several weeks for the toxicology report to come back along with the autopsy. Minerd confirms that Ford was unresponsive and was rushed to the hospital, where she later died.

The sheriff’s office also confirms that several other female inmates cruised Ford while in the same cell and that these other inmates had overdosed and some had to be resuscitated with Narcan. The guards also found what they think is fentanyl, but Minerd says it will be tested. While the matter is still under investigation, the substance did not come from Fredreca Ford, according to Minerd.

“People need to know that the system is failing,” Freeman said. “It fails very much.”

The sheriff’s office says it is doing everything it can to prevent contraband items from entering the prisons, but it happens. Minerd says it does this from smuggling items into a person’s cave to manipulating the postal system.

Freeman knows that people who have never dealt with prison or addiction have little to no compassion for their daughter, but says that Ford was loved by many and that their family is devastated by the loss.

Just as it was my daughter, it could be your daughter, ”Freeman said. “It could be your son.”

The sheriff’s office says it is doing three things to reduce the contraband brought into prisons.

First, it provides clothing for inmates so that no one can smuggle contraband into the hems and linings of personal clothing. Second, the detainees are given photocopies of their personal mail so that no one can soak the mail in a substance. Eventually the sheriff’s office buys two dogs who are trained to detect narcotics that are used exclusively in correctional facilities.

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