Sheriff investigating death of 32-year-old mother of two found in prison shower

FOX Files

VANDALIA, Mo. – Brittany Berry was just supposed to serve 120 days at a special women’s prison in eastern Missouri.

“I thought she was safe,” said Emily Berry, Brittany’s sister.

Emily spoke with FOX 2 in between making funeral plans.

“I thought for sure she’d get back on track, she’d get out and do good, you know, come stay with me,” Emily said.

Brittany was serving time for drug possession. Her short sentence was called “shock” time, as it was meant to get her back on track and off drugs.

Instead, Brittany’s family, many of whom are from Granite City, received a frightening phone call that she was found hanging in a shower.

“I remember her saying to me in a letter that the girls in there were bullying her and that they were mean to her and then she said, ‘I hope I don’t die in here.’ And she did,” Emily said.

Brittany Berry died at the Women’s Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia at about 6 p.m. on May 26. The Missouri Department of Corrections brought in the local sheriff to investigate.

Audrain County Sheriff Matt Oller confirmed he was brought in for a criminal investigation to make sure there was no foul play.

“I just want everybody to know that I loved my sister so much and I will miss her every day and I just hope this doesn’t happen to anybody else,” Emily said.

Brittany leaves behind an 11-year-old daughter and an 8-year-old son.

Investigators say it could take months for all of the answers, with toxicology tests not expected back before a minimum of six weeks.

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