About five hours before her death, Tracy Sims declined a chance to be seen by county emergency medical staff, according to an incident report detailing her arrest.
Sims, 56, of Merriman Avenue died at 9:13 p.m. Thursday at Self Regional Medical Center while in custody as an inmate with the Greenwood County Detention Center. She had been arrested earlier that day on two drug counts.
While in custody at the detention center, Sims reported having medical issues and was evaluated by an on-site nurse before being taken to the hospital, said Greenwood County Sheriff Dennis Kelly.
The report said Sims showed signs of distress when officers first detained her, but declined medical attention. Sims seemed to the detectives as if she was going to vomit, and she had difficulty swallowing as she attempted to drink water.
“Detectives asked Sims if she had eaten any drugs, to which she replied ‘no,’” the document said. “Sims went on to state that she had anxiety issues and was having a panic attack. Detectives offered to have EMS respond for Sims, which she declined.”
Moments later, Sims appeared to be breathing, speaking and swallowing normally, the report said. It was unclear whether this earlier episode was related to the medical emergency that would later send Sims to the hospital.
Detectives reported detaining Sims while serving a search warrant at a Merriman Avenue residence. Authorities noted they found what appeared to be drugs, along with drug paraphernalia indicative of using and selling drugs during the search.
The State Law Enforcement Division was contacted to investigate the circumstances surrounding Sims’ death, Kelly said. He wouldn’t share additional details about the events leading up to Sims’ last moments out of courtesy to SLED’s investigation.