Graham Kilmer
MKE County

Family of Woman Who Died in Jail Speaks Out

Cilivea Thyrion, then 20, committed suicide in December 2022, the Sheriff's Office has said.

By - Feb 28th, 2023 05:07 pm

Kerrie Hirte (center) with B’Ivory LaMarr and photos of Cilivea Thyrion. Photo taken February 2023 by Graham Kilmer.

The family of a young woman who allegedly committed suicide in the Milwaukee County Jail held a press conference Tuesday calling for greater transparency from the Milwaukee County Sheriff‘s Office and changes in policy

On Dec. 16, the sheriff’s Office released a statement saying that a 20 year-old-woman died by apparent suicide and that she was found “conscious but in distress” at 10:30 a.m. and declared dead 45 minutes later.

Now the family of this woman, Cilivea Sunray Thyrion, is speaking out. The woman’s mother and the family’s attorney, B’Ivory LaMarr, said Cilivea had a long history of mental health troubles. LaMarr is also representing the family of Brieon Green, who committed suicide while in custody at the jail in June 2022.

“From the time Cilivea was incarcerated in this jail, she had mental health extreme issues because of their negligence to listen to me as a mother to try to help her,” said Cilivea’s mother, Kerrie Hirte, during the press conference.

Thyrion was on suicide watch in the jail at the time of her death, according to the family and attorney LaMarr, and died after swallowing an adult diaper. Thyrion had a known history of suicidal ideation and ingesting objects, LaMarr said. “We are going to be calling for a criminal investigation as to what took place in this facility back on Dec. 16,” he said.

Thyrion had been in jail since February 2022 with a $5,000 cash bond facing charges of felony strangulation and suffocation and misdemeanor battery. During the past two years, Thyrion had been charged on 10 separate occasions for offenses ranging from misdemeanor disorderly conduct and battery to the felony charge. Court records show she was reviewed twice by mental health professionals as her case proceeded throughout 2022.

“I ask that the truth be known in this situation, anybody who knows anything to come forward, so that we can put her to rest,” Hirte said. “And I ask that people come forward to make a change so that this doesn’t have to happen to any other family.”

LaMarr repeated a call for transparency and a faster release of information to families. “We cannot stand and allow two months, three months, all the way up to six months before transparency for families to get closure,” he said.

Hirte and LaMarr were joined at the press conference by family members of Brieon Greene and members of the Milwaukee Alliance Against Racist & Political Repression.

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