EVERETT, Wash. -
The mother of a 22-year-old man who mysteriously died while in the Snohomish County Jail wants to know what kind of care he received while he was behind bars.
Rose Saffioti said her son was arrested on a probation violation and then collapsed and died at the jail July 3.
As the Snohomish County Sheriff's Office investigates what led to Michael Saffioti’s death, his mother is coming forward to seek witnesses to her son's final hours.
“I feel I owe it to Michael to learn what went wrong,” said Rose Saffioti.
Rose Saffioti said her son was arrested about a year ago for possessing a small amount of marijuana.
After he missed a court date, a judge issued a warrant for his arrest for probation violation.
On July 2, Michael Saffioti’s brother and mother brought him to the Lynnwood Police Department so he could turn himself in.
“He said, ‘You know mom, I have a bad feeling they're not going to take me seriously,’” said Rose Saffioti.
Rose Saffioti said her son was worried because of his severe asthma and dairy allergies.
She said since he was a baby, he suffered reactions so serious and frequent that local medics knew him by his first name.
“He's the kid who had to think about the first girl he kissed, what he ate; all of his life he had to be on guard,” said Rose Saffioti.
Rose Saffioti said she arranged through a friend in law enforcement to have her son transferred to the Snohomish County Jail because it has a medical unit.
She said he had stayed there before and was OK because his doctor had written a letter detailing his needs.
“It was only going to be a couple of days,” said Rose Saffioti.
The next morning, the Sheriff’s Office said Michael Saffioti collapsed in jail. Medics transported him to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
“I just couldn’t grasp it,” said Rose Saffioti.
Faced with many unanswered questions, Rose Saffioti has hired a lawyer.
She said she wants to hear from other inmates who might have seen her son and could shed some light on what happened during his time in jail.
“If there's anyone out there that saw anything or that heard Michael calling for help (I’d like to hear from them),” said Rose Saffioti.
A Snohomish County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman said investigators are waiting on details from the autopsy.
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