A New Jersey inmate who was up for parole in less than a year died after experiencing "respiratory distress" at a state correctional facility, according to court documents.
Tiffany Mofield was serving a five-year sentence for robbery at the Edna Mahan Correctional Facility for Women when she died on April 29 at the age of 43, according to Oliver Barry, an attorney representing Mofield's family.
She would have been eligible for parole in February 2021, said Barry.
It's not confirmed whether Mofield died of Covid-19, but according to court documents, prior to her death she was complaining of fatigue, respiratory distress and difficulty walking.
According to Barry, Mofield had asthma, but was otherwise healthy.
Barry filed a petition for pre-suit discovery on behalf of Mofield's family on Monday evening. In the state of New Jersey, a petition is filed prior to a lawsuit as a means to seek answers. An eventual lawsuit would name the state of New Jersey, the Department of Corrections and University Correctional Healthcare as defendants, among others.
New Jersey Department of Corrections spokesman Matthew Schuman said Mofield's case is under investigation and the department cannot discuss details of the case.
Schuman would not comment on the possibility that Mofield had Covid-19. CNN reached out to the Hunterdon County Medical Examiner's Office regarding Mofield's cause of death and has not heard back.
CNN also reached out to University Correctional Healthcare for comment and has not heard back.
According to the petition, Mofield was moved to the medical unit at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility "on or about" March 19 and was isolated there for approximately 10 days for her symptoms.
Mofield was then moved back into the general population despite continued health issues, according to court documents.
Mofield's family remembers her as a "strong, beautiful woman" who was a great friend and always lifted people up. She is survived by her parents, her three children and her four grandchildren.
"She loved her family and always had a smile on her face," Mofield's daughter, Shatifia Cooke, told CNN. "The pain of losing her is unbearable. I keep telling myself it's just a bad dream."
Cooke last saw her mother in February. In their very last meeting, Mofield got to meet her granddaughter, Cooke's one-year-old daughter, for the very first time.
"I wanted my mom around because she was my best friend. I wanted my kids to have that love and affection she gave me, now they'll never have that," Cooke said in tears.
Mofield's father, Kevin Mofield, told CNN that despite numerous attempts to get answers, he doesn't know anything about the events leading to his daughter's death.
"I make phone calls, they put me on hold and then hang up," said Kevin. "No paper work, no nothing. We need answers."
Mofield's family is seeking access to her medical and psychological records, any grievances she submitted over the last six months, as well as any and all incident reports filed in relation to her over the past three months, according to court documents.
"The only reason the family sought counsel is they want to know what happened to their daughter, mother and grandmother," Barry told CNN. "This is a person they were looking forward to coming home in under a year after paying her dues and all of a sudden she came home a lot sooner in a way they didn't expect."