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New jail recordings confirm Ta’Neasha Chappell told officers she was vomiting blood hours before her death

“Can you help me please?” Chappell asked. “Can you hold my hand?”
Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 5:33 PM EST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - Newly released recordings from inside the Jackson County Jail revealed inmate Ta’Neasha Chappell made officers aware she was throwing up blood 12 hours before an ambulance was called.

Chappel, 23, died on July 16 after suffering from abdominal pain for hours. In exclusive video obtained by WAVE 3 News troubleshooters, Chappell is seen laying on her cell room floor for hours, obviously in pain, crying for help, unclothed.

At points throughout the video, she was unable to standup at times, and was laying in her own waste.

Corrections officers are seen opening the door to her cell, but not giving her medical aid.

The new recordings add to the surveillance videos and show how much pain Chappell was actually in. They were released by Chappell’s family attorney Sam Aguiar.

The recording begin at 8:34 p.m. on July 15, the day before Chappell died.

“I’m throwing up blood,” Chappell said. “This is my second time. I overlooked it today, the first time, but it’s happening again.”

“I’ll have somebody came back there and look at you, ok?” the corrections officer said.

About four hours later at 12:34 a.m., Chappell calls for help again. This time, it appears her condition had deteriorated. She asks for a guard to come and take a look at her.

One hour later she calls again.

“Please help, please help,” Chappell says, her voice weak.

“What do you need help with?” The officer asked. She tells him it’s her stomach.

“I don’t know what you want me to do unless you’re coughing up something crazy,” he responds.

The calls for help from Chappell continue nearly every half an hour.

“I need to go to the hospital,” she begged while moaning. “I’m throwing up blood.”

At 3:11 a.m., Chappell called again. The officer told her he would call his sergeant.

One minute later he tells her, “I spoke to the sergeant, he said the nurse will see you in the morning.”

At 8:33 a.m., another inmate calls for someone to come check on Chappell.

“She’s not feeling good, she’s sick,” the inmate said. “She wanted me to ask you guys because she can’t get up.”

At 8:45 a.m., records show the jail’s nurse, Ed Rutan, visits Chappell for the first time. There are conflicting reports on what kind of medication Rutan gave Chappell.

She calls again at 9:55 a.m., repeating she needed help several times.

At 10:02 a.m., documents state Rutan left Tylenol in her room.

Roughly one hour later another inmate called and said Chappell is naked and lying on the floor. Another corrections officers tells that inmate that if Chappell needed something, she’d have to ‘hit the button.’

At this point, Chappell had already called for help at least eight times.

The last call Chappell made was at 12:17 p.m., making her final plea.

“Can you help me please?” she asked. “Can you hold my hand?”

Despite the multiple calls and her condition inside the jail, at 3:12 p.m., two female officers come to her doors.

“This is just making us think that you’re faking it,” one of the guards said. “So if you’re not gonna get up and get dressed, we’ll leave you alone and you can sit here and suffer.”

An ambulance arrived around 3:30 p.m., roughly 24 hours after Chappell first complained of pain.

Shortly after she arrived to the Schneck Medical Center, Chappell went into cardiac arrest and died.

Doctors suspected Chappell may have been poisoned and recommended she be checked for ethylene glycol, an ingredient found in common cleaners.

The medical examiner’s report found toxicity in her system but they did not determine from what. Her official cause of death was “undetermined.”

“The Indiana State Police spoke with doctors and chemists and attempted to find a laboratory to test the cleaning agent,” the prosecutor, Jeffrey Chalfant wrote in a letter declining pursuing any criminal charges.

“The doctors and chemists said that the cleaning agent would not cause death. Despite contacting laboratories all over the United States, the Indiana State Police could not find a laboratory that could test the bodily fluid samples or food containers for the presence of the cleaning agent.”

Chalfant wrote that there was no evidence supporting the suggestion that Chappell had been purposely poisoned.

The case was investigated by Indiana State Police and has since been closed.

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