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Woman found dead at county jail; Rangers called in to investigate

April 25, 2013

A Big Spring woman was pronounced dead at the Howard County Detention Center early Wednesday morning after being arrested on a charge of public intoxication, according to law enforcement officials.

Stephanie Elaine Baker, 32, of 1606 Settles, was arrested at approximately 9:11 p.m. Tuesday at a location in the 2300 block of Wasson Road by Big Spring Police Department officers, arrest reports stated.

According to Sheriff Stan Parker, the local woman was then transported to the county lockup.

“Baker was booked into the detention center,” Parker said. “At approximately 3:50 a.m. Wednesday, Baker was found unresponsive. An ambulance was called and responded to the detention center, where it was determined Baker was deceased.”

Parker said the woman was alone in the jail cell when she was found by one of the facility's jailers.

“Baker was pronounced dead by Howard County Justice of the Peace Quail Dobbs,” he said. “An autopsy was ordered by Dobbs and will be conducted in Lubbock.”

Parker said the Texas Rangers are in the process of investigating the death.

“Anytime someone dies while in custody, it's normal procedure to have the Texas Rangers come in and make a full investigation,” Parker said. “No foul play is suspected at this time.”

Parker declined to comment on Baker's apparent health at the time she was booked into the detention center, citing the open investigation.

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