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Family members asking questions after loved one found dead in Arapahoe County Jail

Circumstances under investigation
Posted at 2:29 AM, Aug 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-19 12:48:27-04

CENTENNIAL, Colo. -- A mother of six was found dead in her jail cell at the Arapahoe County Detention Center Friday morning. Now, family members are asking about safety protocols.

Authorities haven't released the woman's name, but family members tell Denver7 it was Monica Fite, 46, of Aurora.

Fite was booked into the detention facility Thursday morning following a crash Wednesday night near 2nd Avenue and Sable Boulevard.

Aurora Police say they began investigating the crash as a DUI and took Ms. Fite to detox, then transported her to a local hospital for medical clearance and then took her to the municipal jail.

She was transferred to the Arapahoe County Jail Thursday morning.

In a news release, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said, "Deputies found the woman unresponsive in her cell (on Friday) when she did not appear for lunch. Life-saving efforts were initiated, but were unsuccessful."

The release went on to say, "The circumstances surrounding the woman's death are being investigated.  No additional information is available."

Family Wants Answers

"I'm wondering, in the screening process, was there anything that went awry," asked Fite's cousin, Angela Graves.

Graves told Denver7 that she is a registered nurse, who works at the Department of Corrections for the state of Maryland.

"When you bring someone here, they are pre-screened by medical personnel," she said. "I'm wondering if her vital signs were stable, or if they could tell there was something wrong."

Graves said when she communicated with two of Fite's children, they told her that when they called to ask how much it would cost to bond their mom out of jail, they were told that she didn't look well and was going to be taken to the hospital.

"That is what made me deeply disturbed about this," Graves said. "Was there a chance that her life could have been saved?"

Graves said she's not questioning the arrest, she just wants to find out what happened afterward.

"Did somebody see something that clued them that she needed to go to the next level of medical assistance?" she said. "There's only so much you can do in a correctional setting."

Graves said she can't help but wonder if her cousin suffered some kind of injury in the crash or whether she had a substance in her system that lead to her death.

"How long was she in the cell before someone checked on her?" she asked.  "I just have those kind of questions. I just want to make sure that the proper protocol is being done for everyone."

Graves said Fite was the caretaker of her family.

"Her youngest kids are 13, 14 and 17," she said. "The others are in their 20s."

"She took care of her children," Graves said. "She loved life."