Autopsy results revealed in Rockdale County inmate’s death

Two months after a Rockdale County jail inmate was found dead in his cell, the GBI ruled he died of blood clots due to dehydration.

Shali Tilson died March 12, nine days after he was jailed, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

According to an incident report, two officers were called to a Lakeview Drive home about Tilson trying to kick down the door. When police arrived, they said they found the Conyers man yelling profanities.

Police said Tilson repeatedly ignored commands and fought with officers during his March 3 arrest. Conyers police wrestled Tilson to the ground and restrained him to a chair. When police finally handcuffed him, Tilson escaped, forcing officers to wrestle with him again.

Tilson was taken to the Rockdale County jail on charges of disorderly conduct and obstruction of a law enforcement officer.

MORE: Inmate found dead in jail had to be restrained to chair during arrest, police say

He had no obvious injuries when authorities found him dead in his cell, GBI spokesman Bahan Rich said in a statement. There was also no identifiable cause of death when investigators examined Tilson’s body at the scene.

An autopsy was conducted at the GBI Crime Lab in Decatur on March 14.

“The examination found that the cause for Tilson’s death was pulmonary thrombi due to dehydration,” Rich said in the statement. “A subdural hemorrhage was identified at autopsy, the cause of which was not able to be determined. No fractures or other injuries were found. The manner of death has been ruled undetermined.”

Cause of death refers to why the person died, that is the disease or injury that led to the death. Manner of death refers to how the person died and is usually categorized as natural, accident, suicide, homicide, undetermined or pending.

The GBI’s case file has been given to the Rockdale Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office for review. The GBI notified Tilson’s family of the results May 14.

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