A Georgia jail inmate died after he was "eaten alive" by bed bugs, his family's attorney said Thursday.

Lashawn Thompson was reportedly arrested on simple battery charges last year and was lodged in the Fulton County Jail's psychiatric wing after jail officials determined he had schizophrenia.

Thompson was found unresponsive in his jail cell on Sept. 19 last year. He died after the responding officer and medical personnel failed to resurrect him, according to a Fulton County medical examiner's report obtained by USA Today.

His body was "riddled with bites" at the time of his death, his family's attorney, Michael D. Harper, said at a news conference Thursday, Miami Herald reported.

No obvious signs of trauma were found on the body at the time of his death, the coroner wrote. The report highlighted that there was a "serious bed bug infestation" in the inmate's cell in the psychiatric ward.

During the news conference, Haper shared graphic images showing the deplorable condition of the cell where Thomson was living. His family is now calling for measures to shift the facility to new and livable ones.

Fulton County Sheriff's Office has launched a "full investigation" into Thompson's death.

"First and foremost, the Fulton County Sheriff's Office would like to extend condolences to the family of Lashawn Thompson," the office said in a statement provided to Atlanta News-First.

Public records obtained by Harper's law office showed Thompson had bedbug infections early on but nothing was ever done to address them.

"The ongoing investigation is examining details regarding the medical care provided and ultimately will determine whether any criminal charges are warranted in this case," the sheriff's office added.

It also vowed to look into matters like:

  • Approving an additional expenditure of $500,000 to address the bedbug manifestation issue and other vermin, which will be carried out along with prior cleaning drives targeting communicable diseases that are common in congregant settings.
  • Inspecting sanitary conditions inside cells during security rounds.
Filthy prison cell
Filthy prison cell Pixabay