Sacto 911

Covering crime, police and courts in the Sacramento region

Metro Fire launches inquiry into woman’s patrol car death

08/21/2014 5:24 PM

08/21/2014 5:24 PM

The Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District is investigating the circumstances surrounding a woman’s death in sheriff’s custody last week after she was medically cleared by Metro Fire personnel.

Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department officials said Veronica Gerhke was medically cleared before she was arrested Aug. 14 near the 400 block of K Street in Rio Linda on suspicion of public intoxication. Gerhke, 35, was later discovered unresponsive in the back of a deputy’s patrol car and died despite a deputy’s attempts to resuscitate her, sheriff’s officials said.

Michelle Eidam, Metro Fire spokeswoman, confirmed by email Thursday that fire officials are investigating “facts and circumstances” related to the Aug. 14 death, but declined further comment.

“Because this is under investigation, we are not in a position to release any additional information at this point,” Eidam said.

Sacramento County Coroner’s officials said it could take months to determine how Gerhke died. Sheriff’s officials on Wednesday said they are waiting for county medical examiners to complete their death investigation to begin their own inquiry into the circumstances that led to Gerhke’s death.

Sacto 911 Staff

Bill Lindelof

Cathy Locke

Andy Furillo
Superior Court

Denny Walsh
Federal Court

More Sacto 911


Send news tips

Sign up for breaking news alerts

Arrest Logs

Crime Q&A

Sacramento Bee reporter Cathy Locke answers your questions about crime news, trends and issues. Look up specific cases using Arrest Logs and Sacramento Superior Courts case database.

Submit your question


Join the Discussion

The Sacramento Bee is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Terms of Service