In the case of Rodrico McLeod's death, there are many unanswered questions. But as Peoria County Coroner Jamie Harwood explains, not treating his lethal case of bacterial meningitis could have been simply a case of too little information.
"You can present to the emergency department with a headache and dizziness, but that doesn't necessarily mean they're going to do blood work or a C-T scan," explains Harwood. "It's really a whole picture that needs to be put together."
McLeod's family mentioned that late Sunday night, he awoke to a powerful headache, one of the biggest symptoms of meningitis. A headache bad enough to prompt a call for an ambulance.
The Illinois Department of Public Health says that some of Meningitis' other symptoms include sensitivity to light, dizziness, and difficulty concentrating - all things that McLeod reportedly experienced, but all things that also fall into the symptoms for many other illnesses - which is why, after he was taken to Peoria County Jail, no one was tipped off about how sick he really was.
"...it would've been very difficult for anyone to tell by looking through the glass, doing their checks that they're supposed to be doing, whether anything was typically wrong with him," says Harwood.
To McLeod's family, that isn't enough. They want to pursue legal action against Unity Point Health Methodist for what McLeod's sister, Sandra Bailey, calls 'negligence.'
"I want the hospital to be sued for neglect for my brother," she says.
This evening, Unity Point Health Methodist sent us the following written statement:
"We offer our deepest condolences to the family. When concerns are raised about our care, we take them very seriously. We are always reviewing the care we provide to assure it meets our high standards."
McLeod's family is planning a second protest and vigil outside of the hospital tomorrow evening. For now, they're making and selling home-cooked dinners to try and raise money for his funeral costs. No service plans have been announced.