Suwannee County Sheriff responds to allegations surrounding local woman's death

Pamela Smith
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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
Updated - January 24, 2018

LIVE OAK, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Suwannee County Sheriff's Office is responding to allegations made by a local chapter of the NAACP on what led up to the death of a Live Oak woman, 61-year-old Pamela Smith.

Smith was found dead last week in freezing cold temperatures in front of the Suwannee County Courthouse.

Police reports say a deputy saw Smith sitting outside the courthouse during security checks, but she was moving and talking.

The Suwannee County NAACP claims Smith was in the jail lobby earlier in the day trying to stay warm, but a corrections officer made her leave.

Suwanee County Sheriff Sam St. John tells WCTV Eyewitness News that he reviewed video taken from jail lobby, and says Smith was not there. He also tells WCTV that his staff did not instruct anyone to leave the lobby the night before and in the early morning hours before Smith’s death.

The NAACP chapter also questioned whether Smith was offered assistance, and if she denied it, why the Baker Act wasn't enacted.

Smith reportedly had a place to live.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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