SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – Thanksgiving isn’t what it once was for Melany Zamadoukis.
She is the mother of Tanna Jo Fillmore who died on Thanksgiving day in 2016. Authorities overseeing the Duchesne County jail claimed she hanged herself. Zamadoukis said her daughter was pushed towards suicide because she was in great pain and the jail medical staff failed to give her medications needed to treat her depression.
Last week, her attorney sued the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office and medical staff.
“I never thought I would be putting my baby girl in a grave before me,” said Zoumadakis who was visiting her daughter’s grave. “I miss her every second and it’s painful. It’s painful.”
Fillmore died about a week before another woman died while in custody at the same jail.
Madison Jensen died in the same jail.
Both families claimed jail and medical staff failed to treat their daughters with medications they needed.
In Fillmore’s case, her mother, a practicing nurse herself, said her daughter didn’t get medication to treat her depression. Without it, she said Fillmore was suffering immensely while in jail.
“It’s one of the most painful horrific deaths you can imagine,” she said.
Zamoudakis’ attorney, Tyler Ayres claimed the jail staff knew she needed the medication.
“She wasn’t looking to end her life over this probation violation,” said Ayres. “She just wasn’t being treated the way she needed to be treated. She didn’t have the benefit of her medications.”
It’s the same allegation made by the family of Madison Jensen which also sued Duchesne county. In both cases, the nurse at the jail facility was named in the lawsuit for failing to treat the women properly. That nurse Jana Clyde did face criminal charges in the Jensen case but was acquitted.
For the mother of Tanna Jo Fillmore, Thanksgiving brings back the memories of her daughter’s death and vows justice for all parents.
“I want change and they can’t give me my daughter back,” she said. But I want change and that’s why I want her story told.”
Calls to the Duchesne County Sheriff’s Office were not returned.