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Inmate dies inside Mecklenburg County detention center

Willie Frank Burks was found unresponsive in his jail cell Wednesday morning, according to the sheriff's department.
Credit: WMAZ

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — An investigation is underway after an inmate was found dead inside his cell at a Mecklenburg County detention center Wednesday, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Department announced later that afternoon.

Around 10:30 a.m., Willie Frank Burks was found unresponsive in his cell at the Mecklenburg County central detention center on East Fourth Street, according to sheriff's office.

Official said they performed CPR on Burks before he was transported to the hospital. Burks was pronounced dead at the hospital. 

“We are hurt, our staff is grieving, this is a very emotional time for our agency,” stated Sheriff McFadden, “I have personally spoken to Mr. Burks’ family regarding his passing and mourn with them during this difficult time.”


Burks has been in custody at the detention center since June 6, 2019 on charges including breaking and entering.

Officials said Burks was "last seen jovial and vibrant according to staff."

In a released statement Wednesday, the Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office said there were no signs of foul play and no signs of a fever.

The State Bureau of Investigation will conduct an investigation as the medical examiner determines the cause of death. 

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