A detained woman was found deceased inside the Adams County Jail on Tuesday.
First reported by the Natchez Democrat, 37-year-old Lacey Handjis was found unresponsive by guards who were making their rounds in the jail. She had been transported to the jail from Montgomery County on Monday. Handjis was allegedly being held on an order of commitment.
According to Adams County Sheriff Travis Patten, Handjis had been acting “erratically” in recent weeks while in Montgomery County.
The woman’s family was reportedly seeking help for Handjis, but they were informed that she could not be committed in Montgomery County because she was not a resident there.
Handjis, an Adams County resident, was transported to the jail there in order to get her the requisite help needed before she was found dead by guards.
“Our heart aches for this family,” Patten told the newspaper. “This is a stark reminder of what I have said time and time again. People who are suffering from mental health conditions do not belong in jail. Mental health consumers belong in a proper facility.”
The cause of death for the 37-year-old is unknown at this time. An autopsy will be performed at the Mississippi State Crime Lab to determine how she passed.
The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has been called by local officials to assist in looking into this case.