Police Investigating Following Suspected Suicide at Grand Traverse County Jail

A woman was found dead inside the Grand Traverse County Jail.

The Traverse City Police Department is now investigating.

Corrections officers found Marilyn Palmer from Gaylord unresponsive Wednesday night.

This is now the second suspected suicide at the jail since July.

Alan Halloway was found unresponsive in his cell after he was charged, accused of shooting someone at the Bay Hill Apartments in Traverse City last summer.

That death has now lead to a lawsuit against the county.

Defense attorney Jesse Williams claims the sheriff’s office illegally hid details about Halloway’s death.

Corrections officers, Traverse City fire and police along with EMS worked to try and revive Marilyn Palmer, but their best attempts failed.

“By all preliminary investigation, she had hung herself and, from what we’re seeing, is it looked like she used her own clothing to do that,” said Traverse City Police Chief Jeff O’Brien.

The Grand Traverse County Sheriff’s Office says they found Palmer in the shower of a jail cell.

Right now, Chief O’Brien says evidence points to a suicide.

“We are doing an investigation on that, it’s not completed yet. Our Detective Joe Soffredine has gone back and he’s going to interview the cellmates today and possibly look at some more electronic data so we can submit that as a report going to the prosecutor,” explained Chief O’Brien.

“Obviously this is very concerning to all involved, particularly on the heels of another fatality last year,” said Grand Traverse County Prosecutor Bob Cooney.

Two suspected suicides and multiple suicide attempts, all just months apart.

“We have very good jail staff, they make several saves every year and, unfortunately, something happened in this case we don’t quite know what it was,” explained Cooney. “We will wait until the Traverse City Police Department has finished conducting its investigation and I’ll be taking a close look at that.”

We have submitted FOIA requests for the suicide attempts over the last year and will continue working to answer the many questions surrounding this investigation.