A 24-year-old black man who was arrested months ago in Virginia for allegedly stealing about $5 worth of groceries was found dead in his jail cell on Wednesday, Aug. 19.
Jail personnel found Jamycheal Mitchell dead in the morning, Portsmouth Police Capt. Scott Burke told BuzzFeed News. Police are investigating the death, but Burke said "there's no indication of foul play."
Burke did not have details Friday about Mitchell's housing situation at the jail, including if he had been in a cell by himself. He also did not know if an autopsy had been performed yet.
Officials at Hampton Roads Regional Jail, where Mitchell was being held, could not immediately be reached Friday evening.
Mitchell was arrested April 22 on suspicion of stealing $5 worth of candy and drinks from a 7-Eleven.
According to The Guardian, Mitchell was accused of stealing a Mountain Dew, a Snickers, and a Zebra Cake.
Mitchell had been held in the jail without bail, The Guardian also reported.
According to Burke, Mitchell was being evaluated to determine if he was mentally fit to stand trial. At the time of his death, Mitchell was awaiting transfer to a state hospital for that evaluation.
Family members told The Guardian Mitchell suffered from bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, and may have starved to death after refusing food and medication.
"His body failed," Roxanne Adams, his aunt, told the newspaper. "It is extraordinary. The person I saw deceased was not even the same person."
Burke said Mitchell was arrested on suspicion of larceny the same day a Portsmouth Police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old man in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
Jasmine Adams, who identified herself on Facebook as Mitchell's sister, wrote that her family was grieving after his death.
Adams also posted Mitchell's obituary, which stated that he was born in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and later served as a Catholic altar boy.
Jim Dalrymple is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Los Angeles.
Contact Jim Dalrymple II at email@example.com.
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