Suffolk County police say a homeless woman who had been arrested for theft was found dead in a cell at the Fourth Precinct in Smithtown early Monday morning.
A detention attendant was making a routine check at the stationhouse on Veterans Memorial Highway when 48-year-old Brenda Gaines was found unresponsive on the floor of the cell at 5:30 a.m., police said.
The attendant notified officers who administered CPR.
The victim was taken to St. Catherine of Siena Medical Center in Smithtown where she was pronounced dead less than an hour later.
Her body was taken to the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner for an autopsy. “Preliminary investigation indicates that the death appears to be medically related,” police said.
Gaines had been charged with petit larceny. She was being held overnight for arraignment.
Homicide Squad detectives are investigating.