Inmate dies at Beaufort County Detention Center

Published 7:44 pm Friday, October 2, 2020

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A 33-year-old inmate died Friday while in custody at the Beaufort County Detention Center, prompting an internal investigation by the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, as well as a separate investigation by the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation.

According to a press release from the BCSO, 33-year-old Dremal Keys, of Aurora died in the detention center early Friday morning. He was being held at the jail after being sentenced in court Sept. 30, according to the release. Further information regarding Keys’ charges and sentencing were not immediately available as of Friday.

According to the BCSO release, Keys complained of feeling ill at around 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning, and was taken to Vidant Beaufort for treatment, which lasted approximately seven hours before he was released. Keys returned to the Detention Center around 11:30 a.m. the same day.

On Friday, Keys once again became ill at around 2:35 a.m. before becoming unresponsive. The release states that detention officers on duty summoned EMS and began performing lifesaving measures. When Washington Fire-Rescue-EMS arrived at the jail, they continued those lifesaving measures, but were unsuccessful in reviving Keys, the release says.

“Because Keys’ death occurred while in custody, protocol calls for the notification of the District Attorney’s Office and for the State Bureau of Investigation to conduct an independent investigation into the cause of death,” the BCSO release reads. “The death of any inmate that occurs in the detention center or while being treated in a medical facility while in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office is still considered an in-custody death and is investigated internally and independently by the SBI and then reviewed by the District Attorney’s Office. “

Keys’ remains have been transported transported to the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy, the release concluded.