Family remembers son who died of undiagnosed Leukemia in St. Louis County Jail, three years later

Lamar Catchings died in the St. Louis County Justice Center in 2019 after medical and jail staff didn’t take his health concerns seriously.
Published: Mar. 1, 2022 at 10:32 PM CST
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CLAYTON, Mo. (KMOV) - More than a dozen family and friends gathered outside the St. Louis County Justice Center Tuesday night to remember Lamar Catchings. Catchings died in 2019 inside the jail. Three years later, his family and friends are still fighting for answers.

“This is a sad day, but it’s a happy day because we continue to fight, we continue to support, we continue to let the world know, to continue to say Lamar’s name,” Coffee Wright said.

Wright’s a family friend. She said there’s not a day that goes by Catchings isn’t talked about. On February 28, 2019, Catchings died inside the jail. He wasn’t found by jail staff until the following day.

“He’s no longer with us because of negligence,” Wright said.

A county autopsy found Catchings died from a curable form of Leukemia. His mother, Tashonda Troupe, said she had no idea he was sick and said he was never treated.

“I have to go to the cemetery to see him. I have to sit up and think about what he endured in this place. He endured a lot. Just think of someone laying in a cell for weeks sick,” Troupe said.

Since her son’s death, Troupe has gone to St. Louis County Council meetings, filed lawsuits, and advocates for all lives inside the county jail. She said there’s still a lot that needs to be fixed.

News 4 recently learned an outside company, CGL Companies LLC from Florida, is currently doing a six-month investigation into the jail. Something the county council approved funding for in 2021. Troupe told us that’s progress.

“We asked for that a long time ago. They wanted to do their own internal, and I’m glad about that. I’m glad about that, I want to see their findings are,” Troupe explained.

County leaders told us the review will be done May 15. For now, families are still grieving, waiting for answers and wanting justice.

“We love you and I love him, and I just want him to rest in peace, and I know he won’t rest until his mother has justice for him,” Belinda Williams said.

Williams is Catchings’ grandmother. She and several others prayed, cried, and sang for Catchings Tuesday evening.