Monday, November 16, 2009

LIMON, CO (IFS) - As one of the many first cousins to Shirley Ann Ward, the unanswered questions in regards to her untimely death raises more questions from this officer's handling of her case, as to the many many other cases that have began to arise in Madera County, California. This is a pattern of abuse and neglect from this county and it gives rise to a United States Attorney General's investigation of this officer and his department.

Sheriff John is not telling the true, and his department is covering up vital information. How come it took over three (3) months to notify the next of kind, and they had performed an autopsy without any permission from any family member. Sheriff John you suck!! And there are many more of us in Shirley's family then you have cops in your control. Our family have US Marshalls, US Judges, US Attorneys, police and sheriffs in our own family members. You are not untouchable, Sir. We are going to bring you down -- KHS.

Begin letter regarding the death of Shirley Ward and cruel treatment to family members.

Dear Rev. Bird:

My sister, Shirley Ward, W-65118 an inmate at Chowchilla Prison allegedly died of "natural causes" while in the custody of this institution. A Chief Deputy of Madera Sheriff´s Dept notified me the day after Christmas, December 26, 2008. His words were unemotional and right to the point, "Your sister, Shirley died."

He went on to say that he was also the Coroner who had performed an autopsy on her and that she had passed away on the 16th of December of a "seizure" and what he considered "natural causes".

Why did he perform an autopsy before we were notified? Why the long time span? The prison warden Mary Laptimore, administrators, doctors or other employees did not contact us at all to notify us that Shirley had died or that she was even sick. My family members and I were all given conflicting stories surrounding my sister´s alleged "natural" death. The people at the Neptune Society were putting a rush on us to have the body cremated.

When I called the prison no one seemed to know anything. Most of those idiots were arrogant and sarcastic or maybe it was downright ignorance. I just wanted to know what happened to my sister and they all acted like I was accusing him or her of murder. (I have a list of all the characters I had contact with and details on their cruel remarks and indifference).

My sister was supposed to be released the following month, January 20, 2009. I was receiving telephone calls and letters from her and last spoke to her in the week of her alleged "natural" death. She had had some dental work done in November (dentures). She was excited and looking forward to getting out of there. She did not have a history of seizures.

I spoke with the medical team who reacted very strangely to my questions by telling me they would call me back or have someone else return my call. That never happened. I kept calling the prison until one day in the middle of January I received a phone call from the warden, Mary Latpimore, and a few other characters telling me the same rehearsed story that my sister refused medical help the first time and later was taken to the Madera Hospital where she allegedly died a "natural death".

They will not release a copy of her medical records or a copy of the autopsy. I would like a copy of them both.

My family and I would also like the people (doctors/dentists) whomever to take responsibility and be held accountable for whatever triggered my sister´s death. I fear for the safety of other prisoners if these monsters are allowed to exercise their above-the-law practices at the expense of others. If this is a case of negligence, these people involved are the real criminals and should be punished for the crimes that they commit and have committed in the past in the name of Law and Justice and even the name of God. This entire establishment needs to be investigated not only for the sake of my sister but also for all humanity.

Shirley Ann Ward, my baby sister, had a lot of personal issues. She was an addict but she never killed anyone and she did not deserve to die such a terrible death. She and I were both coming to terms with our mother´s death. I love my sister and I pray that justice will be served.

Anyone with information, please contact the UNION Director, Rev. B. Cayenne Bird, P.O. Box 340371, Sacramento, Ca. 95834, email: web:

Madera County Sheriff's Headquarters
14143 Rd 28
Madera, CA 93638
Emergencies - 24 Hours: Call 911
Non-Emergency Services: (559) 675-7770
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