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FIRST ON 3: Woman dies in New Hanover Co. Jail

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office says an inmate died overnight in the New Hanover County Detention Center.

Investigators say Judith Kay Balloon, 55, died in the jail’s medical unit. Balloon was in the Medical Observation room because of a pre-existing condition.

Shortly after 1 a.m. investigators say Balloon said she was having trouble breathing. As medical staff was assisting Balloon with her breathing, she became unresponsive. Staff administered CPR until emergency personnel arrived. EMS personnel pronounced Balloon dead at 2:11 a.m.

Sheriff Detectives responded and began their investigation. The SBI and the DA’s Office were also contacted.

Balloon was in jail serving a 60-day sentence for drug charges.

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