Support Local Journalism. Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Medical Examiner Rules Ralkina Jones Death Accidental

Posted By on Fri, Nov 13, 2015 at 5:45 PM

Update: The Cuyahoga County medical examiner has officially ruled the death of Ralkina Jones accidental. The ME's report, released today says Jones died of sudden cardiac death "in association with postural tachycardia syndrome and obesity with amphetamine therapy," according to

In her system at the time of death, all legally and prescribed, were oxycodone, butalbital, alprazolam and zolpidem. Jones suffered from sleep apnea and the ME noted the sedatives she was taking could have created a complication with that condition.


Update (7/27/15): Cleveland Heights issued a technical report today on the six-hour or so gap in footage from cameras that captured Ralkina Jones on the night she died in the Cleveland Heights jail. 

Via BuzzFeed News:

The city of Cleveland Heights in Ohio says its jailhouse camera system failed to capture six hours of footage on the night that Ralkina Jones died in a cell because its “outdated” technology caused “glitches” in the recording.

According to technical reports released Thursday by the bedroom community east of central Cleveland, cameras filming the jail cells were set to only record when they detected motion. The investigation also found that the camera system’s memory was insufficient, even though it met industry standards when it was installed in 2008.


Update (7/27/2015): Ralkina Jones' prisoner medication log and the Cleveland Heights jail log offer conflicting records of how many times the 37-year-old woman was given her medication. The official jail log lists three times that Jones' medications were dispensed; her prisoner medication log lists two times in a 24-hour period.

Her medications included: atenolol (for blood pressure), gabapentin (anti-epileptic), escitalopram (anti-anxiety), sumatripitan (migraine), oxycodone (pain), and zolpidem (a sedative). 

It's unclear what official conclusions will be drawn from that discrepancy. Dr. Jeannie Lee, an associate pharmacy professor from the University of Arizona, told NBC News: "There are potential drug interactions that are present there, especially escitalopram and sumatriptan which is a migraine medication."

Jones was found dead in her jail cell on July 26, 2015.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office is still investigating.

Original story published July 27

Yesterday, the body of 37-year-old Ralkina Jones was discovered in a cell within Cleveland Heights' jail. The city's police department is investigating.

The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office responded on Sunday and is conducting its own analysis. 

No further details are publicly available at this point. The police department is expected to release additional facts on the case this afternoon.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m.: An official with the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office said via press release that "no suspicious injuries [have been] identified." The cause of death in this case has not yet been determined.


Tags: ,

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.


© 2021 Cleveland Scene: 737 Bolivar Rd., Suite 4100, Cleveland, OH 44115, (216) 505-8199
Logos and trademarks on this site are property of their respective owners.

Website powered by Foundation