Family Wants Answers After Inmate Found Dead

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JACKSONVILLE, Ark — The family of a Northeast Arkansas inmate, who authorities said was found dead in his cell, wants answers to how he died.

Authorities said Grady Demery, 32, was found unresponsive in his cell in Jackson County last Tuesday. His mother, Belinda Demery, said loved one’s have been calling Arkansas Department of Correction (ADC) for answers, but still no luck.

“God knows whatever happened to him, I hope it come out,” said Belinda.

Belinda said she can only guess at what happened to her son.

“I think somebody done something to him,” said Belinda. “My whole key is I feel in my heart of hearts somebody done something to him.”

Belinda said she got the call informing her, her son was found deceased in his cell at the Grimes Unit. He ad been in prison since September 2015, serving a 10 year sentence out of Lonoke County.

“I lost it,” said Belinda.

Authorities said he was alone in the cell. LaTanya Watson, Grady’s good friend, said the father of four said he had no prior health issues.

“He is not the kind of person that would try to kill himself or hurt himself,” said Watson. “He loved life more than anything.”

Belinda said a couple of days after getting the tragic news about Grady’s death, she found out her son was going to be cremated without the family’s authorization.

“I told them no you don’t do anything, but send my son’s body to my mom’s house,” said Belinda. “I was just really distraught.”

She stopped the cremation, but still has no idea how her son died.

“I just think this whole thing needs to come to a head. It don’t make no sense,” said Belinda.

Arkansas State Police is investigating Grady’s death, but said it could be October before an official autopsy is done.

ADC officials said when an inmate dies, a primary contact and then, possibly, alternate contacts are called — and given up to 90 days to claim the body or it is cremated or buried.


ADC officials said based on state regulations they cannon release any information surrounding Grady’s death.

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