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Inmate dies of natural causes at Mecklenburg jail

A 66-year-old female inmate died this morning at the Mecklenburg County Jail of apparent natural causes, officials said. A medical examiner will determine Monday whether an autopsy is performed.

Beverly Craft of Indian Trail was alert and communicating with jail staff at breakfast time Sunday, which usually ends by 6 a.m. An employee doing a routine check of inmates found her unresponsive in bed about 7 a.m., said Sheriff's Capt. Mike Smith.

Craft, who was arrested in March, had been living in the jail's medical housing unit – an area like an infirmary that has holding cells with medical beds and other equipment needed for sick inmates. It's unclear how long she'd been there, but Smith said she was being closely monitored.

Based on her medical history authorities suspect she died of natural causes, he said.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, who were called to jail just before 8, are investigating the death. Craft's body was at the medical examiner's office today. Officials will decide Monday whether an autopsy is needed, a spokesman for the medical examiner's office told the Observer.

Jail records show Craft was faced numerous charges, including three counts of false pretense, and one count each of misdemeanor larceny and uttering a forged instrument.