(EL PASO COUNTY, Colo.) — A previous inmate at the El Paso County Jail was arrested following an investigation into the death of a woman who died from fentanyl while in custody, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office (EPSO).

Drug supplier arrested for El Paso County Jail inmate death
Courtesy of El Paso County Sheriff’s Office

On Jan. 20, a woman in the El Paso County Jail died while in custody. A deputy sheriff found her unresponsive in her assigned cell shortly after 5 p.m. Life-saving measures were initiated by Sheriff’s Office personnel and medical staff until responders from the American Medical Response (AMR) and the Colorado Springs Fire Department (CSFD) took over medical care. Despite these efforts, the woman was pronounced dead.

The woman, identified as 44-year-old Renee Lowrance, died as a result of fentanyl intoxication, according to EPSO. “Our sincere condolences to Renee Lowrance’s family and friends,” stated EPSO in a press release.

At the request of Sheriff Joseph Roybal, an investigation into the death of Lowrance was initiated to identify the fentanyl supplier directly associated with her death.

On Friday, March 3, for the first time in El Paso County Jail history, a previously incarcerated individual at the El Paso County Jail was arrested and booked into the jail, per EPSO.

27-year-old Katariina Gibson was booked on the following charges: 

  • 18-18-405 Proximate Cause of Death by Unlawful Distribution (Drug Felony 1).
  • 18-8-204 Introducing Contraband in the 2nd Degree (Felony 6). 

Gibson’s current bond is $100,000.

According to EPSO, Sheriff Roybal has a zero-tolerance policy for illicit drugs in his jail and will continue to enforce this policy strongly. In addition, he takes the responsibility of incarcerated citizens’ care seriously, said EPSO.

“As your Sheriff, it is my duty to protect the citizens of El Paso County, and I will use every means possible to do so within the scope of the law. I thank our community and law enforcement members for supporting my Office in our fight against illegal drugs in our county. This is a warning to those who dare bring illegal contraband into my Jail. Those who bring drugs into the Jail will be investigated and held accountable for their actions to the extent the law allows. This represents just one area of prioritized focus for reducing Jail deaths.” 

EL Paso County Sheriff Joseph Roybal