Milwaukee County Jail death, woman's family voices concerns

The family of Cilivea Thyrion, a 20-year-old woman who died in custody at the Milwaukee County Jail last year, hopes to address "ongoing concerns" surrounding inmate treatment.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office said the 20-year-old had been in custody since February 2022 on strangulation and battery charges before her Dec. 16, 2022 death. The sheriff's office said at the time she was found "conscious, but in distress in her cell" and ruled her death an "apparent suicide." 

B'Ivory LaMarr, the attorney representing Thyrion's family, is demanding surveillance video and said the young woman had a history of mental health struggles. He and others gathered in solidarity Thursday, seeking change.

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"I show you a photo of my daughter, who actually graduated, who had a future," said Kerrie Hirte, Thyrion's mother. "She had mental health, extreme, issues. And because of their negligence to listen to me as a mother, to try to help her while she was in the Milwaukee County Jail, her life has ended."

At the time, the sheriff's office said first responders treated Thyrion, but she died about 45 minutes later. 

"I didn’t find out until 7 o’clock at night. And she was already gone at 11(a.m.) – and how is that possible?" Hirte said. "I’m the next of kin, they should have notified me, show me a picture, nothing. Not even a phone call."

LaMarr said they understand Thyrion was on suicide watch, and they think she may have choked to death on a diaper. He said the 20-year-old had a history of going to the hospital for ingesting things.

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"It’s our understanding at this time that she did not have any medical issues that would have warrant a diaper. So, again, we’re looking for answers," LaMarr said. "Now the question begs whether this facility was the proper place for her to be at to begin with, as opposed to a treatment facility."

"I’m asking the world to pray for her and us as a family, and that we come together to make change," said Hirte.

The Milwaukee County Sheriff's Office told FOX6 News it can't comment on an open investigation. State law dictates an outside agency investigate the case; in this case, it is the Waukesha County Sheriff's Department, which said it is still investigating and cannot share more.