Toxicology report ordered for woman who died after being arrested
MCDONALD COUNTY, Mo. – Officials order an autopsy after a female suspect, who police were trying to arrest, dies from a possible overdose at the hospital.
McDonald County Sheriff Hall sent out the following release regarding the incident:
On 06-17-2020, the McDonald County Sheriff’s Office was called out to 44 Hodson Way, Anderson, Missouri for a disturbance with a weapon.
On the way out, deputies were advised that the female suspect, LyndaBeth Meekins had a knife and was threatening to burn the house down. Fire and EMS were also dispatched out and advised to wait until the scene was secured.
Upon arrival, deputies located Meekins and upon direction she put the knife down, but appeared to be under the influence of something. At times she was incoherent and catatonic, but also became combative and bit a deputy on the leg. Due to her mental health crisis and substance abuse issues, she was placed into cuffs for the safety of all on scene. EMS was advised they could respond on in to the scene.
While walking around the residence she decided she did not want to walk anymore and sat down. Deputies allowed her to stay sitting on the ground until the medics could check her out. EMS arrived and started checking on Meekins while she sat on the ground. She was not compliant with them as they were checking her blood pressure, she kept telling them no and arguing. When they went to check her blood sugar, she slipped a cuff, became combative and kicked a deputy, and was then resecured with the cuffs. As deputies were holding her feet and getting a pair of leg cuffs so she could not kick anyone else, she became unresponsive.
Meekins was turned over and she appeared passed out. Medics started checking her and found that she was not breathing and started cpr. She was pronounced dead at Freeman Neosho hospital, the McDonald County Coroner was contacted, and an autopsy ordered. According to Coroner Goodwin, preliminary results showed that Meekins had been a heavy drug user and the autopsy did not show any cause of death and according to Goodwin, the medical examiner attributed it to a possible overdose. Toxicology results are pending at this time.
The McDonald County Sheriff’s Office has a responsibility for transparency and requested the Newton County Sheriff Office to perform an outside investigation of the use of force during the incident.