IDAHO FALLS – Idaho State Police have been called in to investigate after a Salmon woman was hospitalized while in police custody.
According to a statement from Lemhi County Sheriff Lynn Bowerman, a 44-year-old woman was taken into custody for possession of methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia at approximately 3 p.m. on Oct. 31.
The statement said the woman had been investigated by local law enforcement, and state and local probation officers.
The statement did not identify the woman taken into custody, but Local News 8 identified her as Karri Stephanishen.
According to the statement, Stephanishen was placed in custody in the back of a patrol vehicle while officers searched the vehicle in which Stephanishen had been a passenger. The statement did not identify the driver of that vehicle.
Officers stated they found Stephanishen unresponsive in the patrol vehicle a “short time later” and immediately began CPR. The statement indicated officers believed her wounds were self-inflicted and that she had allegedly used the seat belt to harm herself.
In an interview with Local News 8, Stephanishen’s son, Kayd Stephanishen, said that was unlikely as his mother was handcuffed at the time.
Stephanishen was taken by ambulance to Steele Memorial Hospital and later airlifted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. She is in critical condition, however, Kayd Stephanishen told Local News 8 they planned to remove her from life support Thursday evening.
Lemhi County has forwarded all questions to the Idaho State Police.
ISP Captain Danny Bunderson said he could not comment on the case until the investigation is complete. He said he was unaware of whether Stephanishen had been removed from life support.
Upon completion of the investigation, ISP will send their findings to the Salmon prosecutor for review.
Natalia Hepworth, EastIdahoNews.com
Seth Fiegerman, CNN