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Death of inmate at women’s prison being investigated
Jessica Chapman
Jessica Chapman

TOPEKA (AP) — 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, television station 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.

But prisons department spokeswoman Carol Pitts said Wednesday that it only provides news releases if an inmate death is related to COVID-19 or may have been due to drugs, suicide or violence. Pitts said none of those circumstances apply to Chapman’s death “as we know the facts at this time.”

Pitts declined to give any details on how Chapman died, citing privacy laws.

Chapman had been serving time for a drug possession conviction in 2015 in Barton County. She was also convicted of forgery in Rice County in 2014.