Topeka Inmate Dies

Officials with Kansas’ state policing agency have begun an investigation into the death of an inmate at the women’s prison in Topeka, the Kansas Bureau of Investigation confirmed.

Jessica Chapman, 35, died Monday at the Kansas Department of Corrections’ TCF women’s prison, KSNT reported.

The station initially confirmed the death through the KBI, because the Kansas prisons system did not send out a news release announcing the death – a departure from the agency’s normal procedure when an inmate dies in custody, according to the KBI.

Prisons department spokeswoman Carol Pitts said, however, that the department only provides news releases if an inmate death is related to COVID-19, or may have been due to drugs, suicide or violence.

Preliminary autopsy findings indicated a natural cause of death related to heart failure.

The final autopsy report is pending.

The KBI investigation is ongoing.