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Corpus Christi family looking for answers after son died in federal prison

The family pf Billy Joe Soliz will have a benefit BBQ Friday at the Dog House Bar on Kostoryz Road. They also set up a GoFundMe account.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — 36-year-old Billy Joe Soliz was serving time in prison after being convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm and drugs; but recently, his mother got a call in the middle of the night from the prison pastor -- Billy had died.

Now, the family is looking for answers.

"We've been trying to talk to the prison and trying to get a hold of the prison and they will not answer the phone they wont contact us back," said Monica Soliz, Billy's sister.

The family is caught between disbelief and overwhelming sorrow.

"Like the warden or anyone should be calling the family to notify and give us some kind of answers to what happened to my brother," Monica said.

Billy was in federal prison in Atlanta serving 84 months, paying his debt to society; but Monica said he feared for his life and couldn't wait to get out and be reunited with not only his siblings but his six children. He made one last call to his mother, just hours before his death.

"It was 7:30 when he called and spoke to her. He was actually more worried about if she was feeling okay. How was she doing. And he was just worried about her. He told her he was fine. He felt fine and was good and was ready to get out of there," Monica said.

Eight and a half hours later, Billy was dead.

3News reached out to the Federal Bureau of Prisons for information on the inmate's death. In return, the Bureau provided a press release giving the date and time of when the inmate was found  unresponsive, how the staff attempted life saving efforts,  and that Soliz was subsequently pronounced deceased by EMS personnel. The letter goes on to say that the FBI has been notified, and the FBI will not release information on any case that is under investigation.

So all the family can do now is wait for the return of Billy's remains and plan for a funeral.

"The kids are just taking it kind of hard because they were waiting for their dad to come home. There's a lot of things that they were wanting to do with him you know," Monica said.

The Soliz family will have a benefit BBQ Friday at the Dog House Bar on Kostoryz Road. They also set up a GoFundMe account. While it seems it is all they can do, it is not all they want -- they want answers.

"We don't know, I mean, there's a lot of questions of what happened to him, and we just don't have the answers for his children," Monica said.

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