PIKE COUNTY, Mo. (KTVI) — An inmate in Missouri cried for medical help, was given Tylenol, and then put on suicide watch before dying from a brain tumor, according to a jail incident report.
The Pike County jail’s investigative report laid out a timeline that shows the 41-year-old woman, Hollie Grote, cried for medical help for months.
“You could tell something was wrong, and she was ignored,” her sister, Ashley Lovelace, told WFXR’s sister station, KTVI.
Grote’s daughter Shainey Harpole added, “She was losing her vision. She had headaches.”
Grote’s complaints were consistent and daily, according to her family. Their assertions are backed up by the jail’s records.
“I thought she had had a stroke from the things that she was saying,” Harpole said.
Grote was detained at the Pike County, Missouri, jail on a drug charge last June. When Grote told her family she couldn’t get a medical response from the jail, relatives said they personally visited the sheriff.
“I asked if there was any way if he would let her go to the hospital, and he told me no,” said Harpole. “He said that people do it for attention a lot.”
“(The sheriff) said he sent somebody to the hospital the night before,” Lovelace added. “I’m like, ‘What did they do? How did they get to go? You know, four months she’s been crying, begging you guys, and her physical appearance has changed.'”
Clayton lawyer Mark Pedroli is investigating the case for Grote’s family.
“A layperson would know this person needed medical care,” he said.
Pedroli uncovered jail documents showing Grote began complaining shortly after being arrested on a drug charge. Medical complaints were first documented on July 28, 2021. Another inmate said, “Grote’s eye was drooping.”
By Oct. 23, 2021, Grote said her head hurt so badly that she was going to kill herself, according to the incident report. An officer noted “scratch marks on the forearm/wrist area.”
“She still did not get the attention that she needed,” Lovelace said. “She still wasn’t sent to the hospital after she had done physical harm to herself.”
Another officer wrote that it “looks like she is in pain but overall normal; laying on the pod floor crying and seems like she can’t think.” Another entry said the detention doctor advised giving Grote 1,000 mg of Tylenol.
The record said Grote was then placed in what is referred to as a “pickle suit” (an anti-suicide smock).
Officers then documented observing her on a video while she was on suicide watch. An officer wrote that Grote was acting strangely and would only grunt in response to questions. She then slowly rolled off her bunk before she died on the floor.
Pedroli said it was remarkable “…how consistent her complaints were and how often she pleaded just to get to go to the hospital, just to have somebody drive her down the road to see a doctor and that would have saved her life.”
An autopsy by the Boone and Calloway County medical examiner found her “brain was swollen” from a “tumor located on the right side.”
Advanced Correctional Healthcare is the private medical contractor for the jail, and a representative told KTVI on Thursday evening that it was working on a response.
Sheriff Stephen Korte wrote in response, “Due to the pending possible litigation, I am declining to be interviewed at this time as my words may be misconstrued and my opinions misinterpreted as facts.”
He also said, “An investigation was completed for any wrongdoing by staff and has been forwarded to the Pike County Prosecutor who will be sending it to an outside prosecutor for review.”
Grote’s sister and daughter said they asked the sheriff what it would take to get an inmate to the hospital. They said they were told someone would have to be bleeding out or vomiting in a way that it would be obvious something is wrong.