Coroner: Jailhouse death accidental

Coroner: Jailhouse death accidental

URBANA — The death of a 45-year-old Savoy woman in the Champaign County Jail in December has been ruled accidental, Coroner Duane Northrup said Wednesday.

On Dec. 1, Toya Frazier, 45, was found unresponsive in her cell a little after 5 p.m. at the jail, where she was waiting to be transferred to a Department of Corrections prison to begin serving a 3 1/2-year sentence for felony theft after turning herself in the day before. Medical officials immediately started administering CPR, and Frazier was pronounced dead at Carle Foundation Hospital at 5:46 p.m.

On Wednesday, Northrup announced the results of the autopsy, which found Frazier likely died of Diphenhydramine toxicity, due to misuse of the drug. Coroner’s staff members found loose pills in Frazier’s sock in the hospital after she died. Many of the pills were Aleve PM, which contains Diphenhydramine, Northrup said.

Frazier likely was able to sneak the pills into the jail in a cane or knee brace, the release said. 

The start of Frazier’s sentence was pushed back at least three times for health reasons, and she had asked for drug treatment upon arriving at prison, court records indicate.

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