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Detainee at Mecklenburg County jail dies, officials say

The Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office said the 31-year-old detainee was found unresponsive in her cell Wednesday evening.

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — A female detainee who was in the Mecklenburg County Detention Center died Wednesday night, according to the sheriff's office. 

The sheriff's office said the detainee, a 31-year-old woman, was found unresponsive in her cell in the jail's infirmary a few minutes before 6:30 p.m.

The sheriff's office said a detention center officer was watching over the infirmary pod from a control center though the officer last walked through the pod at 5:43 p.m. A nurse was also present in the infirmary.

The Charlotte Fire Department responded to the jail, as did MEDIC. First responders attempted CPR and used a defibrillator, but they were unable to revive the woman. She was pronounced dead just after 7 p.m. 

"Words cannot express the devastation of losing a resident so soon after the shooting involving one of our deputies and now the emotional trauma on staff," Sheriff Garry McFadden said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened to report this death."

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The county said she was processed into the detention center on Jan. 30. This is the fourth time a person has died inside the detention center since May 2021.

The State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) will be leading an investigation into the circumstances of the woman's death, which will include an autopsy.

The Mecklenburg County Detention Center has been under scrutiny in recent weeks after the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services biannual inspection found the facility failed to maintain enough staff to keep the jail safe

That inspection followed a WCNC Charlotte investigation that brought to light an increase in violent attacks against guards and a lack of consistent inmate supervision. The Fraternal Order of Police filed a formal complaint with NCDDHS requesting an investigation. 

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