A woman in Illinois has died as a result of nearly month-long hunger strike after she was arrested and set to be deported.
Lyvita Gomes, 52, is said to have died of malnutrition at the Lake County Jail. She was arrested on December 14, 2011 after she missed a court date for a resisting arrest charge, though her run ins with the law began when she failed to show up for jury duty.
After not reporting to serve on the jury, police went looking for her. When found, she would not cooperate. She was then charged with resisting arrest for refusing to put her arms behind her back. Upon being booked, it was discovered that a hold had been placed on her by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and she was turned over to the immigration authorities.
Shortly after being taken in my ICE, she began the hunger strike that would ultimately take her life. Though the reason for the strike is unclear, it is thought she stopped eating to protest her likely deportation.
The medical examiner stated that Gomez died of malnutrition and dehydration.
No family or friends have come forward to claim Gomes’ body.