Update – Lincoln County Jail Inmate Dies While in Custody


October 11, 2023

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

(Troy, MO) — The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is deeply saddened to report the tragic death of an inmate in the jail. The use of fentanyl is believed to be linked to the death. This marks the second such incident this year and underscores the challenges our community faces with drug abuse, particularly with the worsening impact of the fentanyl epidemic.

The inmate was found unresponsive in their cell on October 5. The family of the deceased inmate has been notified and his identity is being withheld at this time to respect the privacy of the family.

Preliminary investigations strongly suggest that fentanyl is once again a contributing factor in this tragic event, echoing a similar occurrence earlier this year. The investigation into this incident is being conducted by the St. Charles County Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT), ensuring a thorough and impartial inquiry. The official cause and manner of death will be determined by the Lincoln County Coroner’s Office.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office is fully aware of the severity of this issue and is actively taking measures to address it. Currently, a renovation of the jail intake area is underway, funded by a $95,750 grant obtained from the Missouri Department of Public Safety to improve the safety and security of the jail. This renovation places a significant emphasis on improving our ability to handle inmates facing behavioral health and substance abuse challenges.

Notably, this grant will also fund the purchase of ten electronic bracelets to monitor the vital signs of inmates deemed to be high-risk, a proactive step towards ensuring their well-being and safety. These bracelets are expected to be implemented in the jail by the end of the year.

In addition to these infrastructure enhancements and technological innovations, we are steadfast in our commitment to collaborate with community efforts aimed at combating drug abuse. Just last week, the Sheriff’s Office entered into an agreement with the Lincoln County Ambulance District to collaborate on a grant project called the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program-Overdoes Response. The ambulance district was recently awarded the grant to help reduce deaths in the community from substance use disorders. These efforts extend to the jail, and we remain dedicated to providing the necessary resources and support to inmates struggling with substance abuse issues.

Sheriff Harrell states, “The tragic loss of life in our jail is a stark reminder of the urgent need to address drug abuse and the presence of fentanyl in our community. Our sympathies go out to the family of the deceased. We are committed to learning from this incident, improving our protocols, and working alongside the community to do everything possible to ensure that such devastating events do not occur in the future.”

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office will continue to work diligently with our partners to tackle drug abuse and its associated challenges head-on. We remain dedicated to protecting the safety and welfare of our inmates while fostering a community-wide effort to address substance abuse.

For more information or media inquiries, please contact:

Sheriff Rick Harrell (314)276-5737