YORK COUNTY, Maine — Peggy Turner drove from Aroostook County to York County Jail on Sunday, demanding clarity after the mysterious death of her niece, Nicole Turner.
Turner, 34, was found dead in her jail cell on July 3. Maine State Police are investigating her death as a suspected overdose.
"She was a mother, she was a daughter, she was a granddaughter, she was a niece," Peggy Turner said at a vigil outside York County Jail Saturday.
There, she said she confronted Sheriff Bill King about why the investigation is taking so long. King told NEWS CENTER Maine the department is waiting on Turner's toxicology reports to finalize the investigation.
He said the investigation is expected to wrap up soon, but gave no specific date as to when it would be released to the public.
"Did they just lock her up in a room and look at them like a docket number and a criminal instead as someone with trauma ... or just a human?" Peggy Turner said.
Turner added that Nicole had a traumatic youth and was placed into foster care after being raped at the age of 14.
"I still have no answers, so it leaves you questioning everything. She is gone but never forgotten," Peggy Turner said.
Marion Anderson works with the National Council for Incarcerated and Formerly Incarcerated Women and Girls and has previously been in Maine's correctional system.
They argued drug addiction resources are not strong in Maine jails.
"There is just a lack of adequate healthcare for people in jails. There are some jails and prisons that offer medication-assisted treatment, but those services are a case-by-case basis," Anderson said.
In York County Jail's case, County Manager Gregory Zinser said that people who were being treated for drug abuse with Subuxone before their arrest would be able to continue that.
He also wrote, in an email, that some individuals can access medication-assisted treatment in jails even if they didn't have treatment before.
"Programs under the above items are served by an intensive case manager who works with external partners in hopes that they will continue their MAT treatment upon release. MAT programming is also backed up by counseling," Zinser wrote in an email.
King did not sit down for an interview with NEWS CENTER Maine, but he said the details of Nicole Turner's suspected overdose would be released shortly.