On January 14, 2023, Roxanne Gillenwater received a phone call that is a parent’s worst nightmare. Her mother received a phone call from someone on behalf of the Central Ohio Youth Center, Marysville, Ohio stating her 17-year-old daughter Alana Richardson had died while in their custody. Roxanne stated she received that phone call at approximately 3:40 p.m. on the mentioned date.
Alana was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome in 2018 which according to WebMD “Is a rare disorder where your heart takes longer than usual to recover after each beat. It affects one in 5,000 people and can raise the risk of “torsades de pointes,” a type of irregular heartbeat that can be deadly.
Gillenwater alleges, DYS (Department of Youth Services) had n internal policy and was supposed to check on Alana every 15 minutes. When the autopsy report was released, it put Alana’s time of death between 7 am – 10 am on January 14, 2023, she was 17. The question in her mother’s mind and many others is “If she was checked on every 15 minutes how was she dead for 8-9 hours before they found her? The facility did state she refused lunch that day, this also bears the question if they were serving lunch at 8 or 9 am. The first shift guard had allegedly been marking Alana asleep on their rounds.
Alanna was the mother of 1 Brielle Richardson and leaves a heartbroken family searching for answers. Ms. Gillenwater has attempted to contact several staff and administration members of DYS and receives no information or returned calls. A public PEACEFUL protest is planned in the near future, and we will cover that if you would like to support Alana’s unexplained negligent death and monitor information for the protest demanding accountability from a government agency you can join the Long Live Alana Group on Facebook, they are in need of volunteers for several things right now. Steel Ohio Media will make every attempt available to media to help Roxanne gain information, answers, and closure regarding her daughter’s death which should never occur to someone, especially a juvenile in state custody. You can view Alana's obituary here.
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