Inmate who died in OPP showed signs related to ‘medication-related deaths’

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NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) – The inmate who died in custody at Orleans Parish Prison earlier this week showed symptoms often found in “medication-related deaths,” according to Orleans Coroner Dr. Jeffrey Rouse.

The inmate, who has been identified as 23-year-old Colby Crawford, was found unresponsive by his cellmate a little before 8:00 p.m. on February 22.

Crawford had been incarcerated since May of 2016 on charges of aggravated battery, domestic abuse with a dangerous weapon, third offense domestic battery, and violating his probation.

Rouse said an autopsy performed on February 24 showed “no physical signs of trauma.”

“Autopsy revealed significant pulmonary edema and nasal frothing, signs often present in drug or medication-related deaths,” Rouse said. “Full toxicological tests will be conducted to identify any substances present in Mr. Crawford’s system at the time of his death. An official manner and cause of death will be determined following a full review of all test results and available evidence.”

Rouse said Crawford’s family declined to have an independent forensic pathologist observe the autopsy.