Family looking for answers after inmate ends up in the hospital in a coma

Family looking for answers after inmate ends up in the hospital in a coma

Print
Email
|

by Jamie Grey

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBJamieGrey

KTVB.COM

Posted on November 15, 2013 at 8:15 PM

Updated Monday, Nov 18 at 12:02 PM

BOISE -- A carjacking suspect's family is looking for answers. How did he go from being in jail with a high bond to being in a hospital on life support, officially released from custody?

This has been a case with many story lines in the Treasure Valley: A carjacking suspect who got away from police, finally got picked up in Montana, and then briefly escaped again. After the last escape, he went to the Ada County Jail.

Suspect now in a coma, on life support, according to family

Now, Rodney Lee Seiber is in a coma at St. Luke's hospital, and he's been officially released from custody, though charges are still filed against him.

About a month ago, Seiber was in the Ada County Jail for the escape charge on a $500,000 bond. The suspect's family says last week they found out Rodney wasn't in custody, but in a coma at St. Luke's. They say they still don't know how that happened.

"They haven't really told us anything. We've tried to call attorneys to try to help us do this, but right now, we know nothing," said Sarah Seiber, Rodney's sister.

Seiber's sister: He was healthy when he went to jail and then got sick

Sarah Seiber says her family knew Rodney was charged with some serious crimes, including a carjacking in Nampa and escaping custody at a gas station along Interstate 84 while private security was bringing him back to Idaho.

While he was in Montana on the run, Seiber's dad says he talked to him on the phone and Seiber was healthy. The family saw him in the Ada County jail as recently as a couple weeks ago.

"He had some video visits with family members. He said he was sick, and then a couple days later he was supposed to have another video visit and didn't show up," said Sarah Seiber.

She says the family was later told by officers that Seiber was in the hospital, and that last week he went into a coma and is on life support. This week, court records from Canyon and Ada counties show judges have released him from custody.

Now, his sister says the doctors don't know what happened, and his family wants more answers from everyone soon. Seiber's father is looking for an attorney to consult about the situation.

"They don't know why he's in a coma. They're going to do a brain scan on him Monday and see if anything's improved. If not, then another decision has to be made," said Sarah Seiber.

Ada County Sheriff's Office explains jail's protocol and timeline

KTVB asked a lot of questions to the Ada County Sheriff's Office about this, and a spokeswoman responded with answers to many of the timeline and protocol questions.

We've learned that medical bills of people in custody are paid for by taxpayers, so since Tuesday, the sheriff's office says counties would not be paying.

The sheriff's office says Seiber left the jail on Monday, November 4 and went to the hospital. Four days later, on Friday, November 8, a lieutenant contacted a family member listed as Seiber's emergency contact. By the time family was able and allowed to see him, they say he was in a coma.

On Tuesday, November 12, Ada County and Canyon County judges signed orders releasing Seiber from police custody.

A spokeswoman says the jail has no reason to believe inmates in the jail are at any risk for similar illness. She also wrote in an email, "an investigation is standard protocol anytime an inmate is found to have a serious medical condition that was not disclosed when they entered our custody."

No specific medical information can be released by the jail, but family members say he didn't have a condition prior to being in custody. The sheriff's office says there was "no delay in medical care for Rodney Seiber".

The family has set up an account for those wishing to donate at US Bank under his name.

Print
Email
|