Also potentially complicating efforts, Binetti said, was that Central Booking hadn't received a "body receipt" from Johns Hopkins Hospital, where Schloemer was pronounced dead Saturday.

Still, he said, "the system worked exactly the way it's supposed to."

"Given the fact that roughly 60,000 arrestees are processed a year, we do things pretty efficiently on both sides," Binetti said.

Officials say Schloemer was alone in his cell at the time of his death and rounds had been made to check on him and others. Suzanne Schloemer said corrections officials wouldn't speak to her about the circumstances surrounding his death, but the medical examiner told her that he had strangled himself with part of his facility-issue jumpsuit.

Mark Vernarelli, another spokesman for the corrections system, said that the agency has cut down on suicides throughout the system since 2007 through a series of reforms, "but as tragic as it is, it's not completely out of the question for a man in his cell alone to commit suicide."

Geldhof said Thursday that the commissioner had yet to refund the $500 bail but that that "pales in comparison to the grief of the family."

"It would've been a lot better off for everybody if we just had an adult come out and say, 'This individual is dead,' and we could've proceeded from there," he said. "There's multiple agencies involved, but they apparently don't communicate very well with each other."

While Suzanne Schloemer has questions about how Central Booking officers monitor employees, she said her son was in a "dark place" and doesn't blame them for his suicide. She said he took medications and felt good when he was taking them.

"This was his own doing," she said. "He missed his flight. He was so looking forward to this, and you can understand that he was in such deep despair" after being arrested.

"All we want is for those people to take credit for allowing something like this to happen, and not to let it happen again."

jfenton@baltsun.com