A 16-year-old girl who died Saturday after being found unconscious in Jackson County’s juvenile detention center has been identified as Kathia Casseus.
The investigation into how Kathia died was continuing today. A lawyer representing her family said she had no known health problems.
“She was a healthy 16-year-old girl,” said Dan DeFeo. “They can’t believe that all of a sudden she’s dead.”
According to a Kansas City police report, staff at the facility noticed something was wrong about 11:40 a.m. Saturday when Kathia fell to the floor. She began rolling around on the floor and screamed “I can’t breathe” several times, according to the report.
A staff member told police that the girl was hyperventilating and “visibly upset.”
Kathia told the staff person that she was dizzy, felt hot and couldn’t walk. Two other staffers helped carry her to a holding cell. But she was able to put her feet on the ground and walk to a drinking fountain where she took a drink.
Staffers reported that she walked “without difficulty” into a smaller room where she took off her shirt and continued to say she was hot and didn’t feel well.
The staff member told police that she placed a call to the on-call nurse and left a voicemail, according to the police report.
A little after 1 p.m., the staff person said she noticed Kathia had stopped yelling and was quiet.
That’s when she went to the room and found the girl unresponsive and not breathing. Staff began administering CPR and called 911. Kathia was taken to Children’s Mercy Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
According to a press release from Jackson County Family Court officials, Kathia was checked on six times between the time she was taken to the smaller room to when she was found unresponsive.
But the Kansas City police report does not mention any checks during that time.
“That sounds inconsistent with what’s been in the news,” DeFeo said. “There’s no indication (in the report) that somebody was keeping tabs on her.”
DeFeo said he does not know why Kathia was in detention, but her family has said it wasn’t for any type of violent crime. Officials said she had there since Feb. 10.
He said her mother last saw her on Wednesday when she had a court appearance. She spoke with her daughter again by phone Thursday and there was no indication she was feeling ill, DeFeo said.
Officials have not released results of an autopsy.