Harris County inmate dies hours after being released from hospital following arrest

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Investigators are trying to figure out how and why inmate Lakeshia Dibbles died just hours after her release from a Houston hospital. (KTRK)

Harris County homicide investigators and Internal Affairs officers from the Houston Police Department are both trying to figure out how and why Lakeshia Dibbles died May 25 - just hours after her release from a Houston hospital and days after her arrest by HPD.

She is the fifth inmate to die in the Harris County jail so far in 2016.

Court documents reveal 33-year-old Lakeshia Dibbles was arrested on the evening of May 18 after allegedly stealing four containers of baby formula at a Walmart on Hillcroft St. Law enforcement sources tell abc13 Dibbles was placed in handcuffs, but somehow managed to get one hand free and fled from the officer. Those same sources tell abc13 police reported Dibbles fell face first on the concrete while running about a block away. She was caught and charged with both evading arrest and theft. The theft was elevated to a felony because she was convicted twice before.

Court records also show she also had an open theft warrant at the time of her arrest and a criminal history dating back to 2004.

Apparently due to the injuries sustained in the fall, Dibbles was taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest Hospital where she remained for six days.

A statement from Harris County Sheriff Ron Hickman says Dibbles was released from that hospital and arrived at the Harris County Jail complex on May 25 at 3:21am. By 9:28am she was on a cell block.

Ten hours later at 7:17pm, the statement says Dibbles suffered a seizure, required CPR but never recovered. She was declared dead at 8:27pm at a nearby hospital. Fellow inmates got word to abc13 that she had complained of headaches during the day. The sheriff's office confirms she'd asked for medical attention 10 minutes before the seizure.

Memorial Hermann declined to answer questions about Dibbles' death citing patient privacy and would not say if the hospital was even investigating her treatment or discharge.

Sheriff Ron Hickman told abc13, "At this time, we trust in the opinion of the medical professionals that determined Dibbles was eligible for release from the hospital into HPD's custody. Ultimately the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences will determine the cause of death. Our internal investigation will determine whether any deviations from procedure occurred, and identify areas that merit improvement."

The autopsy is not complete.

Dibbles family, who is planning her memorial for Friday, declined comment on her case.
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