OPELIKA, Ala. (WRBL) –  The Alabama Department of Public Health is now involved in the weekend death investigation of a Lee County Detention Center inmate. The need for ADPH involvement remains unclear. However, WRBL is told others are not at risk of disease spread. 

“ADPH cannot discuss elements of any investigation, as a matter of patient privacy. ADPH has determined other inmates in the detention facility and employees are not at risk for contracting a communicable disease from this incident,” said Ryan Easterling, Director of the Health Media & Communications Division.

Lee County Sheriff Jay Jones says over the weekend 36-year-old Korey Scott Smith of Notasulga was discovered unresponsive inside the detention facility on Saturday, February 25th at 3:50 pm. Jones says corrections deputies and medical staff immediately began CPR and used an AED to try and resuscitate him. Despite their efforts and the assistance of OFD paramedics, they were unable to. 

WRBL has reached out to the Russell County Sheriff’s Office for comment as they are the agency performing an independent investigation into the inmate’s death. We will let you know when we hear back from Sheriff Heath Taylor. 

Smith’s body has been transported to the Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery for a post-mortem. Once completed, the investigation’s findings will be provided to the Lee County District Attorney and presented to a grand jury.

Smith had been booked into the detention center on October 5th, 2022, by the Opelika Police on charges of Possession of a Controlled substance and drug paraphernalia charge.