Family of Man Found Dead Six Years Ago Receives $1.5M Settlement from San Joaquin County

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A crowd held signs Tuesday outside the San Joaquin County Courthouse to carry on the legacy of a young man found dead more than six years ago.

"I just miss him every day," said Jeremy Lum's sister, Kiersten Lum.

Jeremy Lum's family spent the past five years in a legal fight. But that fight ended Tuesday with a $1.57 million settlement approved by the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors.

"We've fought for six years, and Jeremy can't ever come back, and no money will ever bring our family back together," said Lum's mother, Dorathea Timmons.

In July 2009, the 29-year-old was mistakenly arrested and jailed for public intoxication.

His family says Lum was bipolar and suffering from a psychotic episode.

He was found dead three days after spending a night at the San Joaquin County Jail.

The family believes a few simple things could have been done to save his life.

"A bus ticket, willingness to make a phone call to a friend or a family member would have gotten him safely home," Timmons said.

"All they had to do was give him medical help, it would have saved him, would have saved his life," said Jeremy's aunt, Connie Lum Peres.

In a statement, a spokesperson for San Joaquin County tells FOX40:

"The county denies that the sheriff’s office did anything that caused Mr. Lum’s death.  Jeremy Lum was found three days after his release, with drugs in his system. "

The county says those drugs were ecstasy, amphetamines and orphenadrine.

Now Lum's family wants to help others suffering from mental illness.

"Let's bring mental illness out of the closet and into the open so there is no stigma," said Lum Perez.