Family wants answers after suspect in woman's death killed himself in jail

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The family of a young woman who was stabbed to death wants answers after the man charged with capital murder was able to commit suicide inside his Harris County jail cell.

Maytham Alsaedy, 26, was found hanging by a bed sheet late Thursday night. While he was not on suicide watch, he was in the facility's mental health unit. Alsaedy was set to plead guilty next week in exchange for life in prison without parole for the 2015 stabbing death of Kella Bracken.

Bracken, 22, was kidnapped from a store parking lot near Spring Valley. Her body was later found more than 20 miles away in the back seat of her own car. She was stabbed 30 times. Her family was looking forward to going to court for the plea deal. That's when they planned to also face Alsaedy for the first time and give victim impact statements.

"He took everything away from us. We just needed to be okay and have this done for us," said Katelynne Schmidt, Bracken's older sister.

Her family feels like they've been robbed of their last opportunity for justice.

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"We knew he was going to kill himself. He had already tried it. Why was he not watched?" Schmidt added.

In a statement, the Harris County Sheriff's Office said, "The incident is under investigation by the Homicide Unit and the Sheriff's Office of Inspector General. The suicide has also been reported to the Texas Commission on Jail Standards."

A detention officer was alerted to Alsaedy's cell when he noticed his cell window was covered with newspaper. Policy said inmates are supposed to be checked on every 25 minutes.

The suicide is just one more blow to the victim's family in a case with many failures.

Days after Bracken's murder, Eyewitness News reported Alsaedy should have never been in Texas in the first place. He was on the run from a felony warrant out of Illinois for a violent attack against a woman in 2013 when he was arrested in Bell County, Texas on a drug charge. He served seven months in prison.

According to Texas prison officials, on Feb. 20, 2015, just before Alsaedy was scheduled to be released, Illinois authorities were notified about their fugitive. They declined to extradite him, so he was set free.

A month later, Bracken was murdered.

"Things need to change. If I hear this happen to someone else, it would break my heart that I didn't do everything I needed to," said Schmidt.

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