PHOENIX (AP) – Arizona corrections officials are investigating the death of a female inmate who collapsed after spending nearly four hours in an outdoor holding cell on a day when the temperature hit 103.

Marcia Powell, who was serving a 27-month sentence for prostitution, was put in the uncovered chain-link cell at a state prison in Goodyear about 11 a.m. Tuesday.

She collapsed about 2:30 p.m. and died at a Phoenix-area hospital early Wednesday. Department of Corrections officials did not immediately explain why Powell was placed in the holding cell.

The department’s investigations unit has begun a criminal probe to determine whether corrections officials were negligent in their treatment of Powell.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.