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Family speaks out after daughter becomes second inmate to die in Rockdale Co. jail in 90 days

The parents of an inmate who recently passed away spoke publicly for the first time and said they know their daughter was flawed but she didn't deserve to die the way she did.

ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. - The family of an inmate who died in the Rockdale County Jail is demanding answers and calling for a large demonstration in front of the jail this weekend.

The family of Jamie Henry claimed she was denied the medical attention that could have saved her life.

Henry's parents spoke publicly for the first time on Tuesday and said they know their daughter was flawed and was in jail because of some poor choices but she didn't deserve to die the way she did.

RELATED | Inmate dies after being found unresponsive in cell, Rockdale County sheriff says

Donnie Donaldson, Henry’s father, and the rest of her family could hardly contain their grief behind a podium as they claim the Rockdale County Jail is responsible for their daughter's death.

“I understand that Jamie was in trouble when they took her, they had the key to the jail but no one gave her the key to her life,” Donaldson said. “This is just so hard for me to believe this is happening. I have to wake up every morning and…myself again. She's no longer here, she's not coming back.”

Henry's mother said the 40-year-old was more than the inmate she was depicted to be.

ALSO | GBI investigating inmate death in Rockdale County

“Jamie did have some issues but Jamie had a heart of gold too,” her mother, Renia Donaldson said.

Henry was booked into the Rockdale County jail last month for a probation violation in another county. The family's attorney said she was going through heroin withdrawal and was held inside the jail less than 48 hours when she died.

“She needed help. Rather than provide her the medical attention that she needed, it is our understanding, as she cried for help, banged on doors, asked for help she was just left in a room by herself and ultimately resulted in her perishing,” Mawuli Davis, the family’s attorney said.

MORE | GBI releases findings on Rockdale County inmate's cause of death

Henry's death was the second inmate death linked to the Rockdale County jail in three months. An autopsy revealed 22-year-old Shali Tilson died from dehydration inside the jail back in March.

A spokesperson for the Rockdale County Sheriff's Office declined to comment on the deaths as the investigation continues but said jail staff provided Henry medical attention immediately after she arrived and a doctor responded when she went into medical distress in her jail cell.

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