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Richmond police identify Chesterfield woman who died in custody during mental health call

Richmond police identify Chesterfield woman who died in custody during mental health call


Richmond police have identified the woman who died at a city hospital on Wednesday after being taken into emergency custody by Chesterfield County police during a mental health crisis.

Marsha G. Smith died shortly after arriving at Richmond Community Hospital, Richmond police said Friday.

Chesterfield police responded around 12:34 p.m. Wednesday to the 20900 block of Truth Drive after receiving a report of a woman standing outside yelling.

Smith lived on the block, and a neighbor said she had a similar mental health episode about two years ago.

At the scene, officers consulted with the Chesterfield Mental Health Services, and Smith was placed into emergency custody without incident, police said. She was taken by Chesterfield Fire & EMS to Richmond Community Hospital, where she died. Authorities said she was still in the custody of Chesterfield police at the time.

While she was undergoing a health screening at the hospital, her condition deteriorated rapidly and she died around 5 p.m., Chesterfield police said Wednesday night.

An exact cause and manner of death will be determined by the state medical examiner. A spokesman for the office did not respond to inquiries Thursday or Friday.

Because Smith died in the city, Richmond police are leading the investigation. Police said the department’s Force Investigation Team, which investigates all sudden deaths of individuals in police custody regardless of the cause, will prepare a report for review by Chief Gerald M. Smith and the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office.

The same team also investigates officer-involved shootings and other use-of-force incidents. Chesterfield police said no force was used when taking Smith into custody.

(804) 649-6527

Twitter: @AliRockettRTD

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