A woman whose son died at the Thomson federal penitentiary speaks with Local 4 News about her son — and her fight to learn more about his death.
Victor Gutierrez was an inmate who died at the prison about a week and a half ago.
Theresa Raymond says she wasn’t notified about Gutierrez’s death until the day after a hospital in Clinton, Iowa pronounced him dead.
And that the prison gave her conflicting information about when he died.
She hasn’t been able to identify her son’s body.
“We talked the night that they found him,” Raymond said. “And it was about 9:30 at night and he said, ‘Mom I love you, can’t wait to see you, I’ll be home soon.’ The prison told me they found him at 10:35 p.m. and tried to revive him. I said, ‘Well, what time does the hospital have that they pronounced him dead? She said 10:21. I said that’s not possible. They told me they found him at 10:35.”
Raymond says she contacted the prison to get more information about her son’s death.
She claims prison employees aren’t being straightforward, putting her on hold for hours or pushing her off to an FBI agent.
“I called there today,” Raymond said Monday. “And I asked again about my son’s property. I said, ‘Listen, he’s got money there, he’s got property. And it’s not about the money, but I want my son’s stuff. They said the property will not be released because there’s an ongoing investigation. I said well I was told that the investigation was over. Which one is it? And then the guy hung up on me.”
We tried contacting the Thomson federal prison and the Iowa State Medical Examiner to get more information about the case. Our calls have not been returned yet.
Local 4 News tracked some of the more recent deaths at the Thomson prison.
A nonprofit called the Marshall Project focuses on criminal justice and tracks this data.
It indicates Gutierrez’s death is the sixth at Thomson since 2019.
Thomson has a “special management unit” that houses some of the federal prison system’s most dangerous and volatile criminals.
The Marshall Project Report found a lot of people have been sent there who don’t meet that criteria.