Woman dies in Montcalm jail: 'What happened?'


STANTON, Mich. (WOOD) — Grief and questions are mounting for the family of a West Michigan woman who died days after she was booked into the Montcalm County Jail.

"Her first time in jail and she doesn’t even make it out alive?" Amber Bills' mother said.

Montcalm County Sheriff Mike Williams said in a statement that Bills was found unresponsive inside her cell Sunday. The sheriff said officers started CPR and called for medical help when their efforts were unsuccessful.

Bills, 34, was booked Dec. 22 and was scheduled to be released Jan. 2, her mother Karen Zwyghuizen said. She was being held on two contempt of court charges and for not having an operator’s license on her.

"They’re all human beings. Whether they messed up or not, they need to be treated like human beings," Zwyghuizen said Wednesday, speaking with 24 Hour News 8 at her Big Rapids home.

Zwyghuizen said she’s in pain over losing her only daughter. She said Bills was a lifelong Howard City resident who had recently been staying in Big Rapids.

"My thoughts are this could’ve been prevented. She could’ve gotten out Wednesday, but now I have to bury her," she said.

A woman who says she was an inmate with Bills reportedly told Zwyghuizen that her daughter tried repeatedly to get medical help before she died.

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