Break-in suspect found dead in jail cell in Alamance Detention Center

On the morning of Sunday, January 12, at 9:49 a.m., an inmate in the Alamance County Detention Center, William Lawrence Cowan, age 29, was found unresponsive in his cell. Jail staff immediately began CPR which continued after the arrival of EMS. The patient could not be revived. No foul play was suspected. As per protocol, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist with the investigation.

On the morning of Sunday, January 12, at 9:49 a.m., an inmate in the Alamance County Detention Center, William Lawrence Cowan, age 29, was found unresponsive in his cell.

Jail staff immediately began CPR which continued after the arrival of EMS. The patient could not be revived.

No foul play was suspected.

As per protocol, the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation was called in to assist with the investigation.

Back in November, Cowan was arrested by the Burlington Police Department after attempting to break into a Burlington home on the 700 block of Edinburgh Court with an ax in his hands. According to authorities, Cowan attempted to get into the back door using an ax that belonged to the homeowner.

Cowan was met within the home by a homeowner armed with a shotgun. The homeowner scared Cowan off, but police set up a perimeter around the area of the break-in shortly after the incident, and soon after captured Cowan. At the time, Cowan was charged with breaking and entering with the intent to commit felony/larceny, and was being held under a $5,000 bond.