MSP investigating mysterious death of 38-year-old woman in Harper Woods jail

click to enlarge Family members and friends of Pricilla Slater outside the Harper Woods Police Department. - Teferi Brent
Teferi Brent
Family members and friends of Pricilla Slater outside the Harper Woods Police Department.

Michigan State Police are investigating the mysterious death of a 38-year-old woman who authorities say was found unresponsive in a jail cell at Harper Woods Police Department.

Priscilla Slater was pronounced dead at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, leaving family members shocked and saddened.

“Once our investigation is completed, we will be forwarding it to the prosecutor or the AG office (Michigan Attorney’s General’s Office),” MSP Lt. Michael Shaw tells Metro Times in an email. “The turn around time will depend on the time it takes the (medical examiner) to finish their report on the cause of death and also the time it takes for a prosecutor to review.”

Protesters, including Slater's friends and family members, plan to gather outside the Harper Woods Police Department at 19617 Harper Avenue at 6 p.m. Friday to demand answers. Organizers are urging demonstrators to wear all black.

A lot of details remained unclear as of early Friday afternoon. Police would not disclose why Slater was in jail, but said she and a 27-year-old man at the Parkcrest Hotel were arrested shortly after 1 a.m. on Wednesday.

Slater's death comes at a time when protesters are rising up in cities across the nation to call for wholesale reforms of the criminal justice system, which has long been rooted in racial bias.

Family members told WDIV-4 that Slater had no known medical problems and was beloved by many.

The Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting an autopsy and are awaiting toxicology reports.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling is an award-winning investigative journalist who operated Motor City Muckraker, an online news site devoted to exposing abuses of power and holding public officials accountable. Neavling also hosted Muckraker Report on 910AM from September 2017 to July 2018. Before launching Motor City Muckraker,...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles

Newsletters

Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.