SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Four months after his death, the family of an inmate at the Chatham County Detention Center is demanding answers.
Authorities say 34-year-old Lee Creely was found unresponsive in his cell during a routine check on Sept. 6, 2020. Lifesaving measures attempted by officers and medical staff were unsuccessful.
News 3 has learned from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) that Creeley died from a fentanyl overdose. That new information was given to a family member on Wednesday, but they believe there’s more to the story.
An internal investigation led to the arrest of Deputy Terence Jackson for falsifying logbook documents and four other staff members were fired.
But as the family’s attorney, William Claiborne, said Wednesday, many questions remain surrounding his death.
“Tell this family what happened in this jail, because they haven’t been told anything,” Claiborne said.
The attorney added that Creely’s family has only received answers through news outlets. Last week, Reuters reported Creely was receiving daily medications to help manage drug withdrawal but had only had it delivered it once in four days.
“We want that company fired and we want that company fired as soon as possible,” Claiborne said of CorrectHealth.
The attorney said “most disgustingly” of all, the family has been unable to have an independent autopsy completed because Creely’s heart had been removed.
“No one with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation or the Chatham County Coroner’s Office has told the family where Mr. Creely’s heart is, despite their repeated requests,” Claiborne stated.
The GBI released a statement to News 3 saying, “A complete autopsy was performed and all organs were returned to the body as per the GBI Medical Examiner’s Office protocol. As a part of a routine autopsy examination, the heart is dissected and very small pieces are retained for microscopic examination.”
“We want to know why they would do this to someone,” Jessica Hodges, Creely’s girlfriend, said tearfully. “I just don’t know what I’m supposed to tell my kids when I don’t know anything.”
Creely was arrested just days before his death for failing to change his address with his probation officer.