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Montcalm County Sheriff's Office
Friday March 22nd, 2019 :: 10:08 a.m. EDT


Update to jail inmate death


SUBJECT OF RELEASE: Jail Death Independent Investigation Results

DATE: Friday, March 22, 2019

AUTHORITY/CONTACT PERSON: Sheriff Michael J. Williams

The Montcalm County Sheriff’s Office has received the results of an independent MISSION investigation into the death of an inmate while in jail. The inmate, AMBER LYNAE BILLS age 34 of Big Rapids, had passed away while in custody on December 30, 2018.

MISSION investigators conducted an extensive two-month investigation into the circumstances surrounding the death. The result showed that no jail policies were violated and no criminal acts were committed.

BILLS had been booked into the jail on December 22, 2018 on a driving while suspended charge with a $500 cash or surety bond. She also had an outstanding warrant for failing to appear in court with an additional $500 cash or surety bond. BILLS experienced stomach pain several days after arriving at the jail. The nurse examined her on multiple occasions.

BILLS informed the nurse she had used methamphetamine and was withdrawing from the drug. Jail staff promptly moved BILLS to a cell with direct observation. The nurse placed her on Librium protocol when she discovered her condition. BILLS remained in the jail’s direct observation cell from December 28 until December 30.

In the afternoon of December 30, BILLS presented in a manner consistent with her previous condition and was given the prescribed Librium. Soon after officers removed BILLS from her cell in an unresponsive state. BILLS did not regain consciousness following the application of CPR and life saving measures.

As subsequent autopsy ruled BILLS died of natural causes.

Sheriff Williams Will be available for on camera news station interviews today between 2:30 and 4:00.

Original News Release

Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams reports that an inmate of the Montcalm County Jail was found unresponsive in her cell. Corrections Officers immediately administered CPR and called for medical assistance but were unable to revive her.

The inmate, AMBER LYNAE BILLS age 34 of Big Rapids, was being held on two contempt of court charges and a no operator’s license on person charge. An autopsy has been performed and revealed an undiagnosed perforated ulcer. The final report from the Medical Examiner is pending.

The Sheriff has requested that a Michigan Sheriff’s Association MISSION team conduct an external review of the incident.


Montcalm County Sheriff's Office
659 North State Street
Stanton, MI 48888

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 989-831-7590

Montcalm County Sheriff

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