Preliminary autopsy results show Sandra Bland's death was a suicide, prosecutor says
Guards found Bland's body nearly two hours after someone last checked on her
In the days leading up to Sandra Bland’s death, she wasn’t eating and was emotional, a former jail mate said.
Alexandria Pyle , who was in a neighboring cell at the Waller County Jail in Texas, said Bland was upset because her bond was set at $5,000 and no one was returning her jailhouse calls.
“She wasn’t eating and when I did talk to her, she was just crying and crying and all I could say was they could not hold you forever,” Pyle said.
Citing preliminary autopsy results, the Waller County prosecutor told reporters that the cause of Bland’s death was hanging and that she had committed suicide. There were no signs of a struggle.
Prosecutor Warren Diepraam said the early results offered “very overwhelming evidence,” but stressed that the case is not closed.
“I feel comfortable that their findings are correct, but there’s still a lot of information out there so we’re not forming any conclusions at this point,” he said. “Nothing is certain.”
The results of the preliminary autopsy concur with how the sheriff’s office described Bland’s death.
Jail personnel found her not breathing and hanging from a trash bag on the morning of July 13. The sheriff’s office said it “appears to be self-inflicted asphyxiation.”
Waller County Sheriff R. Glenn Smith also weighed in. “There is absolutely no doubt in my mind (Bland committed suicide),” he said.
Suicide or something else?
Still, Bland’s family and friends remain steadfast in their belief that she had too much to live for and never would have taken her own life.
Theresa Dear – a long-time minister at DuPage AME Church outside Chicago, which Bland attended growing up – noted that, as Bland tried to get money to post $5,000 bail, she had a bright future to look forward to and looked likely to be released soon.
“How could someone go from a place of being excited about the future to now wanting to take their own life?” Dear said, accusing officials of selectively putting out “crumbs and morsels,” but not the full story. “We, as a family and a community who love Sandra Bland, do not accept … this narrative that the Texas authorities are putting in the media that she had suicidal tendencies.”