Investigation underway into death of insulin-dependent diabetic - Dallas News |

Investigation underway into death of insulin-dependent diabetic at Irving Jail

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An investigation is underway after a North Texas woman died while being held at the Irving Jail.

The family of Sarah Tibbetts, 37, is in disbelief. They say that Sarah was an insulin-dependent diabetic, and that the jail administration knew that from her previous arrests.

Jail officials made attempts to get the medication, but Sarah died while that was happening.

Sarah's mother, Rebecca Tibbetts, lives in California and said that she got a call on Nov. 2, a day after her daughter had been arrested, from an officer asking her to bring insulin for Sarah to the jail. Sarah and her boyfriend had been arrested at an Irving hotel, and the license plate of the car they were in came back with a missing person hit.

The arrest warrant affidavit says when officers searched Sarah's belongings, "...there was a clear baggie containing several small baggies and marijuana residue in her purse.  In addition there was a Wells Fargo Visa debit card in her purse with [someone else's name on it]. The defendant stated that she does not know who the card belongs to or where she got it from."

"I said, ‘I live in California; she's in Texas,'" said Rebecca. "'There's no way I can bring up insulin.' Asked me if I knew of anybody who could get it up there. I said, ‘No, I don't,' but I told them at that time she was an insulin-dependent diabetic and she needed her insulin or she would die without it."

The next day, Sarah collapsed and died.

Rebecca says it wasn't the first time the jail called her making the same request. Sarah had been arrested before for crimes including drug possession and trespassing.

"She's been in there in the past," said Rebecca. "I have received that phone call in the past from them before too…[those times,] I believe they either sent her to the hospital or sent her to Dallas. It was one of the two, but they did send her to where she could get treatment."

Rebecca Tibbetts is trying to keep an open mind regarding her daughter's arrest and death.

"I can't just believe they ignored the situation completely without some kind of thought," she said.

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