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Gwinnett officials investigating Flowery Branch mans death after jail medical emergency
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A Flowery Branch man’s family is seeking answers on what caused his death shortly after he arrived at the Gwinnett County Jail.

Christopher Howard, 23, of Flowery Branch, died Feb. 17 at the Gwinnett Medical Center in Lawrenceville.

Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Shannon Volkodav said a death investigation is underway.

Howard’s sister Destin said her brother had tested positive for marijuana in a drug test. Lawrenceville Police arrested him on a probation violation and brought Howard to the jail.

He was there “for less than eight hours before he suffered a medical emergency” and was transported to the hospital, Volkodav said in a statement.

“My dad really wants to figure this out,” Destin Howard said.

Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office Investigator Ted Bailey said the cause of death was “pending further studies.”

According to his obituary, Howard graduated from Johnson High School in 2012 and played basketball.

Destin Howard described her brother as a confident man who didn’t let anybody run over him.

“He loved everybody and had a lot of friends,” she said.

Destin Howard said her siblings share a genetic deficiency where fatty acids can’t be broken down for energy, and they need to eat regularly. Volkodav did not respond directly to a question about food being offered or requested at the jail.

“We want to know what happened to him,” Destin Howard said. “That shouldn’t have been the last place he’d ever see.”

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