Platte County sheriff’s deputies had served an order of protection last Thursday on a 50-year-old woman who was found dead minutes later in the back of a transport van.
Authorities said Emma L. Lewis of Platte City experienced medical distress during a five-minute trip after being arrested on suspicion of violating an ex parte order and assaulting a law enforcement officer.
Efforts to revive Lewis were unsuccessful. The Clay County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the death, officials said.
The cause of death has not been determined, but Lewis’ relatives said they want answers. Before the incident, they said, Lewis had not experienced any medical problems.
“We don’t know what happened,” said her daughter, Toni Ingelse, on Wednesday. “Right now, it is all confusing.”
Concerned for her safety, Ingelse filed the order of protection against her mother last Thursday.
“She is not in the right state of mind,” Ingelse wrote in the order petition. “She becomes violent at a moment’s notice.”
Lewis was born in Bakersfield, Calif. Her family later moved to Naples, Fla. Lewis worked as a pastry chef for the Ritz Carlton hotel chain and was transferred to the Kansas City area in 1990.
In 2009, she married David L. Lewis in Weston and later settled in Platte City. Lewis also has a son, two stepsons and four grandchildren.
Lewis was an excellent cook, loved antiques and delighted in collecting teacups, Ingelse said. She loved to fish and was an avid runner.
“She was a very creative person,” Ingelse said. “The way she decorated her home was completely different from anybody else.”
In recent years, Lewis was a homemaker and a member of the Rock of KC church. She also did volunteer work for Hillcrest Thrift Store in Platte City and the Hillview Nursing & Rehabilitation Center of Platte City.
“She was definitely a caregiver. She wanted to take care of everybody and make everybody feel loved,” Ingelse said. “She just loved serving others.”