MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – Funeral arrangements have been made for Raynette Turner, the Mount Vernon mother of eight who was found dead in her holding cell while in police custody on Monday.
Turner, 42, was arrested on Friday for shoplifting, narrowly missing the cutoff to see a judge before the weekend, where she would have likely been released on her own recognizance. She fell ill and was treated at Montefiore Mount Vernon Hospital Sunday night before being returned to her cell, where she was found dead at approximately 3 p.m. the next day.
Services have been set at the Holy Tabernacle Church in Mount Vernon, with a wake scheduled from 3 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6 and a funeral at 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 7. Mount Vernon Mayor Ernest Davis noted that a local funeral home has donated its services to the Turner family.
Since her body was discovered on Monday, authorities with the New York State Attorney General’s office and Westchester County District Attorney’s office have been investigating the death. Additionally, city officials in Mount Vernon have formed an internal team of their own that includes a former federal prosecutor, Assistant Attorney General and State Deputy Commissioner for Human Rights.
Initial autopsy results that were released this week were inconclusive. The official cause of death remains unclear, though Turner had a history of hypertension and had undergone bariatric surgery for weight loss. A spokesman from the District Attorney’s office said that they are awaiting toxicology and microbiology reports.
Mount Vernon Deputy Police Commissioner Richard Burke has stated that “no foul play” is suspected in Turner’s death. Davis noted that while the investigation into the incident is ongoing, city officials would remain mum on the issue.
“We have made every effort to keep the dialogue open surrounding Mrs. Turners’ death and have answered, to the best of our ability, questions put forth by those concerned,” he said. “Please remain mindful that the investigation is continuing. Every effort will be put forth by this administration to make sure that the death is investigated in a manner that is comprehensive and thorough.”
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