Updated: Monday, 05 Nov 2012, 7:14 PM EST
Published : Monday, 05 Nov 2012, 7:14 PM EST
CARMEL, Ind. (WTHI) - An Indiana man is looking for answers, after his daughter grew ill and died while in prison.
It's an emotional story that's already made its way into the courtroom.
Like most fathers, Claude Wood of Carmel, Ind. is fiercely proud of his daughter Rachel, and her photos are almost always on hand.
Like some young people, though, Rachel found herself in trouble with the law.
When she was 24, Rachel was sentenced to six years in prison on drug charges.
Wood said his daughter was soon transferred to a prison in Southern Indiana for an educational program.
"There's a lot of things she wanted to learn and take advantage of while she was there … computer classes, her G.E.D., things she wanted to do," said Wood.
Months passed, and Rachel seemed to flourish.
But, there was a problem.
Years before, Rachel had been diagnosed with a condition called Lupus, and in March, Mr. Wood said he received a call from another inmate telling him that his daughter was ill.
He stated when he tried to get information from prison officials, he hit a dead end, even in attempts to find out where she was.
"We have made hundreds of calls trying to locate her. A few days went by, and we still hadn't gotten a definite answer of where she was," Wood said.
In the weeks, that followed, Rachel was moved: first, to Indianapolis, and then, to a hospital in Terre Haute. Her records were sent back to Rockville.
Along the way, Wood said he had little luck finding his daughter.
Eventually, he set up an appointment to meet his daughter in the hospital.
He put off the meeting by a day, in hopes of having more time to spend with Rachel.
"We thought that was a better judgment, because we were only going to get to see her once. It wasn't the better judgment,” said a tearful Wood. “The next call we got, she was gone."
According to documents, Rachel had been in an ambulance back to Indianapolis, but grew sicker on the way.
An autopsy found high levels of a drug called Citalopram in her system, and listed the means of death as "Therapeutic Misadventure."
State Police investigated and found no criminal wrongdoing in the case.
Mr. Wood has filed suit in the case against the Department of Corrections: the company that handles healthcare for inmates, the hospital and doctors involved.
The Department of Corrections spokesperson said they could not comment on the case, because of the lawsuit. They directed calls to Corizon, the company that handles inmate medical care.
In a written statement, Corizon said:
Meanwhile, Wood says he hopes his story will lead to change in policy and practice.
"No family should have to go through what we went through," said Wood.
News 10 will bring you the latest information as it becomes available.
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