Cook County Jail Inmate Dies on her Birthday

Wathena Young was 48

By Mitchell Grogg
|  Monday, Aug 13, 2012  |  Updated 8:46 PM CDT
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Jail Inmate Dies on Her Birthday

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A Cook County Inmate last arrested on shoplifting charges lived exactly 48 years. She died in custody Sunday, her birthday.

Wathena Young, whose last listed address was the Cook County Jail in the 2600 block of South California Avenue, was pronounced dead Sunday evening at Mt. Sinai Hospital, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office.

An autopsy Monday determined Young died from a pulmonary embolism and obesity.

Young was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital and released Sunday, said sheriff's office spokesman Frank Bilecki. As she was being transported back to the Cook County Jail, she became unresponsive in the back of a police car.

She was then taken to Cermak Hospital in the jail before being transferred to Mt. Sinai, Bilecki said.

Young had been arrested 59 times. She had 11 convictions for theft, drug use, and prostitution, said Bilecki.

She had also given police 18 different names, 12 birth dates, and three social security numbers.

She was most recently arrested Aug. 8 on theft charges. Video surveillance allegedly recorded her stealing four watches at a Sears store, Bilecki said.

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