Fort Wayne woman dies in police custody, family demanding answers

A family is calling for justice after a 32-year-old Fort Wayne woman died in police custody in the Whitley County Jail.

Posted: Oct 16, 2020 10:35 PM
Updated: Oct 17, 2020 9:20 AM

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WFFT) -- On Aug. 26, Tia Meyers was arrested and booked in the Whitley County Jail for a bench warrant from December 2019 three days later, on Aug. 29, she was found dead in her cell.

Now, Meyers' family Attorney Stephen Wagner says, all her family wants is the truth.

Wagner says, “The underlying charges were fairly minor. They were speeding charges, possession of marijuana, and a small pipe. We’re not talking about a felony or violent crime. It was a fairly minor crime and a bench warrant issued for a failure to appear.”

Whitley County Coroner Randal Dillenger says Meyers’ death was due to methamphetamines.

Dillenger says, “The cause of death was due to methamphetamines and the manner of death was an accident.”

Wagner says his explanation is too little and too late.

Wagner says, “Her family had made inquiries with the coroner's office and really had received no response and months had gone by and still no answers so they contacted me to find answers.”

Like many Americans, Meyers was recovering from addiction.

Her family says the mother-of-four had finally gotten back on track but stumbled.

Wagner says Meyers' struggle with drugs was no reason for her to die the way she did.

Wagner says, “How could she be arrested for such a minor offense and have such obvious medical problems? In this case, it was her withdrawal symptoms and she died in literally three days. When someone is taken into jail, they are helpless. They cannot get their own medical care. They can’t get their own medications. They are at the complete mercy of their jailor who has a constitutional duty to provide them their medication.”

Meyers's family knows that an explanation won't bring her back but is hoping the answers will bring them peace.

Wagner says, “Tia was not just some statistic. She did not deserve to die in a solitary cell in Whitley County. She was a mother, a daughter, and someone who was battling an addiction problem but that is not a reason for her to die unnecessarily.”

This case is still under investigation by the Indiana State Police and we’ll update you as soon as more details become available.

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