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Woman thrown out of Missouri hospital for 'trespassing' dies in jail from blood clots

A St. Louis hospital said it made every effort to help a homeless woman who sought treatment for a sprained ankle and subsequently died in police custody after being arrested for refusing to leave the facility. 

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that an autopsy showed blood clots killed 29-year-old Anna Brown in September when they migrated from her legs to her lungs.

Brown's family said authorities treated her unfairly and have hired a lawyer.

Brown was reportedly arrested for trespassing after refusing to leave St. Mary's Health Center in September. The homeless mother, who was complaining of leg pain after spraining her ankle, had visited to other hospitals earlier that week.

The woman was taken from the hospital, hand-cuffed and in a wheelchair, after a doctor said she was healthy enough to be placed in a jail cell, the newspaper reported.

St. Mary's Health Center said its staff followed medical guidelines and performed appropriate tests. The hospital said blood clots can go undetected in a small number of cases.

Police have said officers had no way of knowing Brown's dire condition.

The newspaper reported that police suspected Brown was using drugs at the time of her arrest. But an autopsy later revealed she had no drugs in her system, according to the newspaper.

Click for more on this story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.