RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Nearly one week after Steven Carey was found dead inside the Richmond City Justice Center, his family says they still have no answers.

According to a release sent out by the Richmond Sheriff’s Office, Carey, who was later identified by family, died in custody on Wednesday, Jan. 11. Officials said the Richmond Emergency Communications department was contacted immediately. The Richmond Fire Department and Henrico Fire Department and EMS also responded to the incident.

“My sister-in-law called me and said that my brother was dead,” said Carla Wade, Carey’s sister. “There’s families that love the people that are in there.”

Wade told 8News her brother did struggle with mental health and believed jail would be a safe place where he could get back on his feet. “Obviously it wasn’t,” she said.

Carey’s family is still digging for information about how he died. His sister said one inmate claimed he saw Carey in distress through the cell window, and then “a few minutes later just dropped.”

Inside sources told 8News that Carey was given Narcan, a prescription medication often used during a drug overdose. However, in an interview last week, Sheriff Antionette Irving said her deputies do give Narcan even without the presence of drugs.

“How many lives have to get taken for some type of investigation to happen,” Wade questioned. “I’ve just heard time and time again that they don’t care. They take a long time to respond when there is an incident. They respond always with Narcan first. You know there’s a problem if you always respond with Narcan.”

8News reporter Autumn Childress asked the Sheriff if drugs were an issue inside her jail.

“Drugs are an issue in all institutions…not just this institution,” she said. “I’ve been in this business 30 years and it has been an issue and problem will continue to be.” 

Carey makes the fourth inmate death at the Richmond jail in less than a year, and the third since November. It’s a number that the Sheriff admitted is ‘alarming.’

The deaths also come as other reports of deputy assaults and staffing shortages at the jail — down to 170 deputies — which prompted Richmond City Councilwoman Reva Trammel to call for a state investigation.

As this family seeks justice, they’re also pushing for change.

“At this point, my brother is already gone. I just hope that whoever else is in there at least knows they’re safe,” Wade said.