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Police: Woman Died In Holding Cell While Awaiting Hearing In Mount Vernon

Updated Wednesday, July 29 10:55 a.m.

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Officials were investigating Monday evening after a woman died in a holding cell in Mount Vernon following a two-day wait for her arraignment on a shoplifting arrest.

Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis said Raynette Turner was found dead Monday afternoon.

Police officials said Turner, 42, was arrested Saturday at a wholesale food store and was being held for a Monday arraignment.

Police: Woman Died In Holding Cell While Awaiting Hearing In Mount Vernon

Her husband told reporters he waited all day at court for her arraignment, only to find out later she had died in her holding cell.

Police said on Sunday night she reported not feeling well and was taken by ambulance to a hospital, then returned to her cell a few hours later.

The officials say Turner was found dead at 2 p.m. Monday, when she was to be arraigned.

"The last note that I notice of her is that she was sleeping, and that's what I saw when I walked back there when she had already passed away," said Deputy Commissioner Richard Burke.

An autopsy was pending Monday.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, recently empowered as a special prosecutor in deaths involving the police, has sent a team to Mount Vernon to look into what happened to Turner, WCBS 880's Alex Silverman reported. It's not clear if his office will open a full investigation.

The death has evoked comparisons to the death in Texas of a jailed woman earlier this month, which has drawn national attention.

Sandra Bland was found dead in her Texas jail cell July 13. Authorities say she hanged herself , but family members and friends have questioned that account.

Bland was arrested on July 10 after a traffic stop. After being pulled over for failing to signal a lane change, the stop that was recorded on the trooper's dashcam escalated into hostility. At one point, when they are off-camera, she can be heard telling him she has epilepsy.

She was arrested on a charge of assault of a public servant and taken to Waller County Jail where she was later found dead.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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