Wake County sheriff preaches patience as family wants answers in inmate death

DeJuan Hoggard Image
Wednesday, September 6, 2023
Wake sheriff preaches patience as family wants answers in inmate death
Wake County Sheriff Willie Rowe said the investigation into the death of offender De'Marious McClain unfolds.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's been 44 days since 19-year-old De'Marious McClain's death inside the Wake County Detention Center.

The father of three was awaiting further trial on robbery and assault charges and other lower-level charges when detention staff noticed his body after performing their rounds.

"He told me he was doing OK," said his fiance Tyteiona Bridges. "He was ready to come home. He told me it should be soon."

Since then, Bridges set up a GoFundMe to help with end-of-life costs and has been awaiting the results of an autopsy into his death.

On Wednesday, Wake County Sheriff Willie Rowe responded publicly to McClain's death.

"Any time there is an injury, illness, or death that occurs -- it's very unfortunate. And our heart goes out to the victim and victim's family," said Rowe. "That situation's currently under investigation and once we get the results of that investigation, we'll know exactly what happened."

According to Bridges, her fiance was supposed to have been working on a deal with attorneys, with conditions, that would have eventually led to his release.

In a July statement following his death, the Wake County Sheriff's Office said, "Detention Officers and medical staff immediately started CPR. Fire and EMS arrived and started rendering aid. Despite medical efforts, McClain passed away."

Wednesday, Sheriff Rowe again responded. "An independent investigation is being done by the SBI. We wait to receive their findings. Yet we stay vigil in making sure that we're doing our part to keep the jail safe and secure."