An autopsy report confirms the third death from opioid overdose at Moberly Correctional Center.
Fentanyl caused the death of another Moberly Correctional Center inmate according to autopsy reports obtained by the Moberly Monitor-Index.
The death of Stanley Pruitt, 38, marks the third confirmed drug overdose leading to a death at the prison since early October and the fourth unexpected death in that same time frame. Two other inmates, Roland Tyler and Clayton King, died in October and were found to also have fentanyl in their systems.
The more than three months since Pruitt’s death have been a difficult time, family members said.
"It should never have taken this long to get results," said Rachel Sims, Pruitt’s ex-wife. "He was a number to them, but to us he was someone we love. ...He loved his kids and grand kids so much, even after our divorce. He still looked out for my kids and he was a great dad."
The Department of Corrections did not respond Thursday to calls seeking comment on the autopsy and the family’s concerns.
Prison staff reportedly found Pruitt unresponsive in his cell around 8:20 p.m. Dec. 9. Prison medical staff likely attempted to resuscitated him with chest compressions and a defibrillator, the reports state.
Examiners noted in the report that Pruitt had a fractured sternum and several fractured ribs, which were likely caused by attempts to resuscitate.
His body was taken to Boone County Medical Examiner Carl Stacy for an autopsy Dec. 12
The toxicology report noted a combination of fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid, and mirtazapine, a prescription drug used to treat depression, in Pruitt’s system.
Nalaxone, an opioid-overdose treatment commonly referred to as Narcan, was also found in Pruitt’s system, the reports show.
Blood samples were sent to NMS Labs in Pennsylvania from Stacy’s office for a toxicology report. NMS sent the report Dec. 31 and the Stacy signed the autopsy report and issued an opinion on Pruitt’s death Jan. 21, but the report was not submitted to the Missouri Department of Corrections until Feb. 12.
Pruitt was serving a 12-year sentence for a 2010 drug conviction in Greene County. He was scheduled to be released about a week after he died, Sims said. Pruitt had struggled with addiction for years, but his legacy was more than just addiction, Sims said.
Marissa Ryker, 20, Pruitt’s stepdaughter, said his family was not notified about his death until about two days after it happened. Pruitt’s family was also not informed of a possible cause of death, she said.
"I feel they [DOC] could have done a lot better," Ryker said. "... The whole family is still pretty messed up about it."