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A detainee in the Oklahoma County Detention Center (Jail) who died late Tuesday has been identified as Christa Sullivan, 65.

Sullivan is the sixth Jail detainee to die this year.

According to information from Jail spokesperson Mac Mullings, Sullivan was in the suicide watch unit where detainees are observed 24-hours per day.

Before this incident, Sullivan’s condition had worsened to the point that the Jail administration had made attempts to gain a medical release for her. Those attempts were “unsuccessful.”

Tuesday night, Jail staff observed a change in her physical composure and began life-saving efforts. EMSA arrived and took over attempts to save her life which were unsuccessful.

Sullivan was pronounced dead at around 9:40 p.m. The state Medical Examiner now has custody of Sullivan’s body and is doing post-mortem examinations to determine the cause of death.


Sullivan’s background is a clear example of how jails are often used by communities as substitutes for meaningful and adequate mental health care.

A written statement from the Jail said that Sullivan “had an extensive history of both physical and mental health issues prior to entering the facility, which continued to be observed by detention center and medical staff during her incarceration.”

The statement also said, “A prior attempt to obtain a medical release of the detainee due to her extreme medical decline was unsuccessful.”

Sullivan was reported to have ideations of suicide and to have had “physical incidents causing hospitalization.”

Mullings, with the Jail, said Wednesday that Sullivan’s case was being investigated and a statement would be made public once it is complete.

Last Updated April 15, 2021, 8:01 AM by Brett Dickerson – Editor