An Adair County jail inmate who was rushed to the hospital subsequently died this weekend as a result of swallowing what police believe to have been illegal drugs.
On Sunday, police responded to a trespassing complaint at Walmart on Glenn Morrison Jr, 33 of Columbia. Upon arrival and after talking with Morrison, officers began to suspect that Morrison may have swallowed something just before they began interacting with him.
Officers questioned Morrison, who denied swallowing anything, and then transported him to TJ Health Columbia for medical examination.
“When we got him to the ER doctor he continued to deny swallowing anything,” says Columbia police chief Jason Cross. “He told the doctor that he was fine and he refused any medical treatment so the medical staff cleared him.”
Morrison was transported to the jail and booked in at 1:36 a.m. on charges of disorderly conduct; resisting arrest; trespassing; public intoxication; and tampering with physical evidence.
Preliminary investigations show that jail deputies had contact with Morrison on at least four separate occasions where he was removed from his cell to complete specific tasks between 6 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Cell checks were also conducted every 30 minutes and during all interactions Morrison showed no signs of distress and did not ask for any medical attention.
At approximately 1:30 p.m., Morrison’s cellmates called to the attention of jail staff that he needed help.
Jail deputies saw that Morrison was shivering and lethargic and took him to the nurse’s station. It was determined that Morrison needed to be transported to the hospital for additional treatment and at 2:01 p.m. dispatch was called and Morrison was transported back to TJ Health Columbia.
“When EMS arrived at the jail he walked himself over to the stretcher,” says Adair County jailer Joey White.
“They got him to the ER again and his mental status was strained as he talked out of his head and began mumbling,” says Cross. “All of sudden it was all over and medical personnel worked on him for a long while but he was gone.”
At 3:41 p.m. Morrison was pronounced deceased at TJ Health Columbia and Adair County Deputy Coroner Mike Keltner was notified.
According to law enforcement, a review of security footage from a local business does show that it appears Morrison removed something from his pocket and ingested it prior to officers reaching him before his arrest.
A preliminary autopsy of Glenn Morrison Jr was completed Monday and indicated foreign material in the esophagus, pulmonary edema (heart failure), and there was no evidence of any lethal trauma found during the autopsy.
“Plastic was found during the autopsy that is consistent with the plastic used for the packaging of drugs,” says Cross. “It’s obvious that something was swallowed.”
A full report and toxicology are still pending and will be released to the Office of Adair County Coroner Todd Akin and law enforcement when completed by state medical examiner’s office.
By Adam Capps