ATLANTA - Nineteen-year-old Noni Battiste-Kosoko’s mom said she is devastated after learning her daughter died at the Atlanta City Detention Center while in the custody of the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office last month.
"It’s been particularly hard, knowing that Noni is my only child," said Shashu Battiste, her mom. "She was so young, and it was just so unexpected."
Noni spent the last eight weeks of her life locked up because she missed her last hearing on misdemeanor trespassing and vandalism charges, jail records said.
While the county medical examiner has completed the autopsy, it’s still not clear how she died.
As she waits for answers, Shashu said she is trying to stay focused on the good her daughter brought into the world.
"I feel really blessed to have had her," Battiste said. "She was so talented, and I really want to stress that. She just had so much that she wanted to do."
The mother of teenager Noni Battiste-Kosoko, who died in Fulton County custody describes her daughter was a beam of light and now she is devastated. (Supplied)
The sheriff’s office said she had "no apparent signs of injuries" when an inmate worker making dinner rounds discovered her unresponsive.
Last week, one of Noni’s cellmates said she was dealing with voices in her head and said it was clear she was overlooked. A family spokesperson confirmed she struggled with mental health issues.
Shashu said she’s feeling a lot of emotions, but one of the strongest is gratitude for Noni’s presence in the world.
The mother of teenager Noni Battiste-Kosoko, who died in Fulton County custody describes her daughter was a beam of light and now she is devastated. (FOX 5)
"Instead of being angry, I want to celebrate who she was, and they can’t be mad that she was here in my life," her mother said.