Autopsy Finds Teen Girl Who Died in Police Custody Suffered from Rare Disorder

A Kentucky medical examiner has completed his investigation into the death of 16-year-old Gynnya McMillen, who died in a cell at a juvenile detention center in January, and ruled that her death was a result of Inherited Long QT Syndrome, which can cause irregular heartbeats.

CBS News reports that McMillen was taken into police custody after authorities received reports of an unspecified “domestic dispute” at the teen’s home. She was taken to the Lincoln Village Juvenile Detention Center and held overnight in a solitary cell. Officers found her dead in the cell the next morning.

Questions Arise After 16-Year-Old Kentucky Girl Dies in Police Custody

Though McMillen’s official cause of death is a rare genetic disorder, prosecutors are still looking into any employee misconduct during her time at the facility.

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Security footage camera shows officers restraining McMillen on the ground for more than 4 minutes while they conducted a pat down, though the medical examiner says that that did not contribute to her death. 

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Investigators are also looking into the sporadic supervision that McMillen received. Officers are required to check on teens every 15 minutes; however, an internal investigator found that at one point, McMillen was not checked on for one hour and 53 minutes. In another instance, an employee offered her a sandwich, but when she didn’t respond, he left the cell and ate the sandwich himself. 

Since her death, two officers have been placed on leave, two others could be suspended, one has resigned and another has been fired. Prosecutors are preparing to turn their findings over to a grand jury.