KELOLAND Investigates has been looking into the circumstances surrounding the death of a young mother in the Minnehaha County Jail this month. 31-year-old Jordin Eichmann, who had a history of a substance use disorder, refused medical screening and was found unresponsive in her cell hours later. The jail warden tells KELOLAND Investigates staff was monitoring her frequently over a camera.
The county contracts its medical services for both the jail and the Minnehaha County Detox Center with Armor Correctional Health out of Florida.
38-year-old Shaunda Frankman battled depression and substance use disorder for years, before her death at the Minnehaha County Detox Center in May of 2019.
“It was a lot of self medicating–she was depressed–very, very depressed,” Beach said.
Jodi Beach is Frankman’s first cousin. Just 10 months apart in age, she says they were more like sisters.
“We’ve grown up together. We were super close. Even in adulthood, we even worked at the same places, together. She was sober off and on for years. Then she would relapse,” Beach said.
Beach says her cousin was dropped off at the emergency room in May of 2019.
“They knew her history–she’d been there before. They knew she had a mental illness. They knew she was an addict,” Beach said.
Frankman was sent to the Minnehaha County Detox Center, where her family was told she refused to fill out medical and mental health forms.
Beach: We know she requested to take a shower. Instead of being in a communal bathroom, for showering, they let take a shower in a private bathroom, which I don’t understand. We know she grabbed some towels and grabbed a sheet and put it in place between the towels and proceeded to go into the bathroom. We know it was 15 minutes before they realized the water wasn’t running and it was another five minutes to find the key for the bathroom she shouldn’t even have been in.
Kennecke: It was locked?
Beach: It was locked.
Frankman hanged herself in the shower. She was taken to the hospital where she was put on life support.
“Once they realized there wasn’t very much brain function; then it was our decision. It was very hard, very hard,” Beach said.
Beach was at her cousin’s side when she died in the early morning hours of May 15.
“There was no struggling, just three peaceful breaths and she was gone,” Beach said.
Frankman left behind two teenage daughters.
When KELOLAND Investigative Reporter, Angela Kennecke, spoke to the director of Minnehaha County’s Human Services following Frankman’s death in 2019, she was told that Frankman had not identified herself as suicidal or she would not have been placed in detox; but that she was always monitored, although she had been in the shower for up to 20 minutes.
When KELOLAND Investigates contacted Minnehaha County Human Services once again now, Director Keri Benz said she could not comment because of potential litigation. Frankman’s family has retained an attorney who is reviewing the case.
“We want change to happen. We know it will never bring her back. We know that, but we don’t want anybody else to go through this. There are so many what-ifs. Who could have done better? I think the whole system needs to change,” Beach said.
The Division of Criminal Investigation assisted in the investigation in Frankman’s death and issued a report to the Minnehaha County State’s Attorney, who ruled it a suicide and determined nothing criminal took place. However, when it comes to following policy, Armor health says it conducts a review of any unexpected deaths, but does not share the results with third parties.
“Armor has a strict policy of reviewing any loss of life whether it is an expected death from a terminally ill patient with stage 4 cancer or an unexpected death.J.P. Hervis, Spokesperson, Armor Health
This policy provides guidelines that are for reviews in accordance with the AMA and other national clinical standards. Due to HIPPA guidelines the company does not share any personal clinical information nor the results with third parties.”