Questions surround woman's apparent suicide death in Waller County Jail

HEMPSTEAD, TX (KTRK) -- An investigation is underway after a woman was found dead Monday morning in the Waller County Jail.

Sandra Bland's death is being labeled an apparent suicide, but family members and friends don't believe it and say the truth will come out.

The luggage with her name tag still attached sits crumpled on the floor of LaVaughn Mosley's Waller County home. The bags, and a few boxes offer a small glimpse into Bland's last few days of life.

The woman who drove down from Chicago last Thursday to interview for a new job at her alma mater, Prairie View A&M, died in the Waller County jail Monday morning.

What happened in between is now under investigation.

"It's kind of sad, here's a young lady trying to move on with her life and a simple traffic stop turned into such a travesty," said Mosley, who had offered to have Bland stay at his home while she went for the job interview.

Last Friday, Bland was stopped just outside of the Prairie View campus for allegedly failing to signal while changing lanes. A State Trooper pulled over. Eyewitnesses say she was combative, and soon, she was arrested for assault on a public servant. Bland was booked into the Waller County Jail on Friday, and she called friends from there.

"The plan was to bail her out on Monday," said Malcolm Jackson, another friend. "But, before Monday could come, of course tragedy struck and nothing was able to be done."

Waller County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith says Bland was last seen in her jail cell at 7am on Monday, jailers spoke to her via intercom at 8am. Then, at 9am, a female jailer went to check on her, and found her dead.

"Close to the 9 o'clock hour, was when the female jailer went to offer her recreation, and found her," said the Sheriff.

Waller County District Attorney Elton Mathis says Bland hanged herself.

"The preliminary investigation, the information I have received said at this point, this was a suicide."

The Texas Rangers have taken over the investigation, and for now, few other details are available. Friends say that just doesn't add up. They don't understand why an outgoing young woman about to start a new life is all of the sudden, dead.

"She went and did the interview," said Mosley, "got the job, and was looking forward to start work on the 15th, which is today."

Some concerned friends protested outside the Waller County Jail today.
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