52-year-old inmate dies in Chatham County Detention Center

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PITTSBORO — A Siler City man serving time for probation violation and scheduled for release in May was found dead Friday night in the Chatham County Detention Center, apparently of "natural causes."

Michael Capone, 52, was found in "medical distress" just before 8 p.m. Friday by staff members performing rounds at the detention center.

"Upon further inspection, the inmate was found to be unresponsive with a weak pulse," the Chatham Sheriff's Office said in a release on Saturday morning.

"Detention Officers leapt into action to provide emergency care, performing CPR and other life-saving measures alongside FirstHealth EMS for nearly 40 minutes," the release said. "Unfortunately, their joint attempts to resuscitate the inmate were unsuccessful."

“Our staff members are shocked and saddened by Mr. Capone’s sudden passing,” Sheriff’s Office Captain Tammy Kirkman was quoted in the release as saying. “We strive to provide the highest quality of care to individuals in our custody, so losing someone in our facility despite our best efforts to save him is nothing short of traumatic.”

“Our hearts go out to Mr. Capone’s surviving family and friends. Regardless of his custodial status at the time of death, he was a human being and his memory deserves respect,” Chatham County Sheriff Mike Roberson said. “Any loss of life is a tragedy, especially when it happens so suddenly. Our Victim Services Coordinators will be available to provide emotional support and assistance as needed.”

Capone’s is the first in-custody death to occur inside the Chatham County Detention Center, according to the release.

“An investigation is currently underway to determine Mr. Capone’s cause of death and the circumstances leading up to his passing,” said Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Sara Pack. “Although natural causes are suspected, we are still waiting on official autopsy results from the medical examiner regarding this unfortunate event.”

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