Inmate who died did not contract staph infection in jail, VBSO says


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side is investigating the death of a Virginia Beach inmate.

The family of 39-year-old Derrick Snyder says he contracted MRSA in the city’s correctional facility, then passed away at the hospital.

The medical examiner says Snyder died due to disseminated miliary staphylococcal infection. 

Because of federal healthcare laws, the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office can’t share a specific timeline of when Snyder was taken to the hospital, or what his condition was while he was in their care.  However, they are confident he did not contract a staph infection inside of the jail.

Snyder was arrested June 11 on charges of larceny, trespassing, and more.  His family says he died July 5, after spending weeks in the jail and a few days in the hospital.

“This is just unfortunately a sad situation,” said Kathy Hieatt with the Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office.

Jail officials say prevention starts with a medical exam when inmates come to the jail.

“This is nine pages of information that our medical staff goes over with them.  They also examine them, they talk about their history,” said Hieatt.  She says Snyder went through the same procedure. 

Hieatt said, “Nothing in that physical indicated that he had any serious or life-threatening medical conditions or illnesses nor did he report to us that he had any serious or life-threatening conditions that we needed to treat him for.”

However, medical staff did recommend Snyder for detox housing.

“Our medical staff was concerned that he could potentially experience withdrawal symptoms because of drug or alcohol use,” Hieatt said.

Jail officials are confident Snyder did not get the infection while in their care and say none of the other inmates or employees are at risk.

“We’ve talked extensively with medical experts both inside and outside the jail and we know that Mr. Snyder did not contract his condition inside the Virginia Beach Correctional Center,” Hieatt said.  “Based on the timeline and when he became ill, we know he would have had to have contracted his condition prior to coming into our custody on June 11.”

When family members initially reached out to 10 on Your Side, they shared concerns for other inmates.  They have now directed us to an attorney.  We are waiting for a response.

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