Reneyda Aguilar-Hurtado Died In DuPage County Jail
Wrongful Death - June 13, 2023
Detainee Reneyda Aguilar-Hurtado Died After Being Found Unconscious In DuPage County Jail Cell
DUPAGE COUNTY, ILLINOIS (June 13, 2023) – A 50-year-old woman at the DuPage County jail identified as Reneyda Aguilar-Hurtado has tragically died after being found unresponsive in her jail cell.
The detainee was deemed unfit to stand trial after being arrested on March 19. She was supposed to be transferred to the Illinois Department of Human Services for mental health treatment. It remains unclear why she was still at the DuPage County jail.
DuPage County officials are saying that Reneyda Aguilar-Hurtado was placed on medical watch which was to occur every 15 minutes. This occurred after correctional officers found her in her cell sitting in a pool of vomit.
Jail officials claim that she refused medical treatment. She was scheduled to be seen by a doctor on Monday morning. However, a deputy conducting her regular rounds found the detainee unconscious in her cell around 9:35 a.m.
Reneyda Aguilar-Hurtado was rushed to the Northwestern Medicine Central DuPage Hospital in Winfield in order to receive treatment. Sadly, she was pronounced dead a few hours after being admitted.
This is the second death at a DuPage County Jail in recent weeks. Crystal Blagaich also died after being found unresponsive in her cell by correctional officers.
A full investigation into both incidents remains ongoing at this time.
Liability For DuPage County Inmate Deaths
Far too many people die in custody every year. According to the Prison Policy Initiative, “Nationwide, there were 1,120 deaths reported, or a rate of 154 deaths per 100,000 people in jail, the highest levels since BJS’ first report on this topic in 2000. The jail population has grown since 2000, of course, but jail deaths have grown more.” Preventing inmate deaths requires a multifaceted approach that properly addresses the unique causes of these deaths.
- Inmates should be given adequate medical care. This includes giving inmates a proper health screening before they are admitted.
- There should be increased transparency about all inmate deaths.
- Correctional officers should be well trained to understand when an inmate may be in medical distress.
Inmates and detainees have a constitutional right to receive reasonably adequate healthcare. This includes mental health care. Failing to give inmates adequate care is a deprivation of their constitutional rights. When a jail is deliberately indifferent to the serious medical needs of an inmate, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. A jail may have failed to help someone who was obviously in medical distress.
Consider, for example, Borys v. Dart, U.S.D.C. (N.D. Ill.), Case No. 1:15-cv-08972. In October of 2014 an inmate was booked into a Cook County jail on a misdemeanor charge. He was examined by a physician and known to have a history of seizures. Despite being prescribed anti-seizure medication, he was not given this medication. He had a seizure in the middle of the night and was seriously injured after falling from his top bunk. There are many steps that should be taken after any in custody death.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- An autopsy may need to be performed.
- All jail records related to the incident should be reviewed.
- The inmate’s health profile should be examined.
- A thorough investigation should be conducted.
Jails are supposed to do everything in their power to properly care for those that they house. But far too often this does not take place. Correctional officers may fail to conduct wellness checks. Or officers might fail to realize that an inmate is seriously ill and requires immediate medical attention. The family of any person that dies in a DuPage County jail may have legal recourse through a wrongful death claim. It is important that all evidence is properly preserved after any in custody death.
Investigating In Custody Deaths In DuPage County Jails
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Reneyda Aguilar-Hurtado. There needs to be a thorough investigation into what happened. The details that jail officials have voluntarily released are deeply troubling. It is our hope that steps are taken to prevent other tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about an in-custody death at a DuPage County jail? Our team of inmate’s rights advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We are committed to helping inmate’s understand their rights and taking steps to ensure those rights are being protected. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into any incident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.