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Last updated 4:58AM ET
March 19, 2018
WOUB Local News
WOUB Local News
Family of man who died in cold not notified of jail release
(WOUB) - A Columbus family is asking why they never got a call from the jail or caseworkers when a man with schizophrenia was released during a January cold snap.

The snow covered body of 63 year old James Smith Junior was found in a lumber yard on January 23rd.

Franklin County coroner Brad Lewis says he died of heart failure and exposure within two days of his January 18 release from jail.

A mental health agency had been working to get Smith in a group home. But the agency's leader says he wasn't ready for release when the case manager went to pick him up, so the case manager asked he be held until the next morning.

Jail officials say they can't hold an inmate after a judge orders release and can't call families when they process 41,000 inmates a year.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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