Sullivan County

Sullivan County Sheriff's Department investigates death of inmate

Jail overdose

SULLIVAN COUNTY, Tenn. - A Sullivan County inmate is dead and another was sent to the hospital.

Authorities tell us they believe it was a drug overdose; the case is now under investigation.

Currently the name of the inmate believed to have brought in the drugs is not being released. We did learn smuggling contraband into jails is a problem all across the nation and some will do whatever they can to get the drugs.

"Some people go to extreme measures to try and smuggle stuff inside," said Leslie Earhart, Public Information Officer.

We learned from the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office that one inmate booked into the county jail did what she had to to get the drugs in. "An inmate was able to get drug in the jail undetected while hidden in a body cavity," said Earhart.

We learned that while the Sheriff's Department does search every inmate coming in, there are certain things they are not allowed to do without permission. "Inmates are only strip-searched if we have reasonable suspicion they have something on their person. However, you cannot do a body cavity search without a warrant," said Earhart.

Earhart tells us they believe the inmate was sharing the drugs with others in her cell. "Thursday morning around 4:45 one of the inmates alerted corrections officers that another female inmate appeared to not be breathing," she said.

Marlina Kindle was given CPR by the medical staff until she was taken to the hospital where she was later pronounced dead.

Earhart tells us that she was not the only one. "Shortly after that, another female inmate began complaining that she was sick and had chest pains," she explained.

Jessica Park was also taken to the hospital and is now in stable condition.

Earhart tells us they believe the two overdosed on the drugs, but are uncertain how much was consumed.

Kindle's body has been sent for an autopsy. The investigation is still ongoing and charges are pending.

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