Young woman dies after medical emergency during arrest

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SAN DIEGO — Officials say a young woman who had a medical emergency and was left on life support after an arrest last month died on Thursday.

Police are still investigating what led to the death of 24-year-old Aleah Mariah Jenkins.

Officials say officers Nicholas Casciola and Jason Taub stopped Jenkins’ car near La Jolla Village on Nov. 27. During the traffic stop, Jenkins was arrested for an outstanding warrant for methamphetamine possession.

While she spoke with officers, Jenkins became sick and vomited, according to SDPD. Officers called for paramedics but Jenkins told them she only had an upset stomach, so the medics were cancelled, according to a department release. A third officer, Lawrence Durbin, helped take Jenkins into custody.

She was taken to SDPD Headquarters to be processed and booked into jail. At that point, officers say Jenkins became unresponsive and appeared to be having a medical emergency. Officers provided medical aid and called for San Diego Fire-Rescue medics to help. The young woman was taken to the hospital, where she remained on life support until her death Thursday.

Police said homicide investigators were looking into Jenkins’ cause of death, which officers said may have been a drug overdose. Officials said drugs were found hidden in her clothing and that there was “no indication any force was used” on the woman.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s Office will perform an autopsy to officially determine what led to Jenkins’ death, SDPD said.

Anyone with information about the incident was urged to call the Homicide Unit at 619-531-2293, or to contact Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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