MARION — According to a release from McDowell County Sheriff’s Office, administrators have requested assistance from the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation in examining the death of an inmate found hanging in his jail cell on June 5.

Detention officers found David Shane Stafford, 42, of Spruce Pine, dead in his cell in the special housing unit, according to the release.

According to the release, the sheriff’s office believes Stafford died by hanging himself. Detention staff immediately implemented CPR on Stafford while an ambulance was on its way. Stafford was pronounced dead when paramedics arrived.

“We are working with the SBI to determine the circumstances surrounding Mr. Stafford’s death,” Sheriff Dudley Greene said in the release. “Right now, there is nothing to indicate it was anything other than suicide.”

Stafford had been fed earlier in the day and was noted to be in OK condition, according to the release. The sheriff’s office did not believe that there was any indication that he would harm himself, therefore, he was not on suicide watch.

Stafford was being housed in the McDowell County Jail for Mitchell County. He was booked into the facility early June 2 on charges of assault on a female, assault by strangulation and kidnapping. The McDowell Sheriff’s Office is being assisted by the Mitchell County Sheriff’s Office.

The McDowell County Sheriff’s Office extended its sympathy to the Stafford family, and also thanked McDowell County EMS for its quick response.

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