On two occasions, staff members working at a Florida hotel found former Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ player Vincent Jackson slouched over on a sofa – but they left without calling for help, thinking he was asleep.
That’s according to a new report released in Jackson’s death to Heavy.com by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office. You can read the report later in this story. The cause of death was listed as “pending further study” and the manner of death was listed as “pending.” The report indicates that the information is preliminary and “subject to change.” The Medical Examiner’s Office told Heavy.com that it’s not unusual for a cause of death determination to take some time, even multiple weeks.
He was found dead on February 15, 2021, at the Homewood Suites located at 10240 Palm River Road in Brandon, Florida.
The “Initial Case Summary Report” lists Jackson’s mother Sherry Jackson and his spouse Lindsey Jackson as next of kin. The report came from the deputy at the scene. It says that the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Department was last to see Jackson alive on February 11 when they performed a wellbeing check on the NFL player.
Here’s what you need to know:
Hotel Staff Found Jackson ‘Seated on the Couch, Slouched Over’ Three Days in a Row, the Report Says
Three days in a row, hotel staff found the former football player – who was known for his community service – seated on a couch “slouched over.”
“On the dates of February 13 and February 14, hotel staff entered the secured hotel room and located the deceased seated on the couch, slouched over. They assumed he was sleeping and left the room. On the morning of February 15, hotel staff once against went into the secured room and were concerned when they found the deceased in the same position,” the report says.
911 was called. He was confirmed dead.
Previously, the sheriff said in a statement:
“According to hotel staff, Jackson, who is a South Tampa resident, checked into the hotel on January 11 and had been staying in a room since that date. On February 10, HCSO spoke with Jackson’s family members who called to report that he was missing. A formal report was filed on February 11.”
However, authorities initially located Jackson alive. “The following day, February 12, HCSO located Jackson at the Homewood Suites and spoke with him. After assessing Jackson’s well-being, the missing persons case was canceled,” the release says.
Jackson “was located deceased at approximately 11:30 a.m. on February 15 in his hotel room by a housekeeper,” the release says.
The Sheriff’s Department said there were “no apparent signs of trauma.
The Report Says Jackson had a Small Laceration on His Toe & a History of Alcohol use
A small laceration was found on Jackson’s toe but there was no other visible sign of injury, the report says.
The report says Jackson had no medical history, was married, had a “history of alcohol use, was a smokeless tobacco user, and had no known drug history.
That revelation matched details given by the Hillsborough County Sheriff, who said in a radio interview that Jackson suffered from chronic alcoholism. He also said that Jackson’s family thinks he might have had CTE, although the new report doesn’t mention that.
Toxicology reports are still pending, the Hillsborough County Sheriff has revealed that Jackson suffered from “chronic alcoholism” and was dealing with a number of other unspecified health issues as a result of it.
The sheriff, Chad Chronister, made the revelations on the MJ Morning Show. You can listen to the audio here.
“We got the autopsy report back that will be released today. It showed, unfortunately, he suffered from chronic alcoholism. Just tragic. We haven’t got the toxicology report back, so we can’t say with any certainty that was it,” Chronister said in the show.
“But a lot of longstanding health conditions that contributed to his passing because of some alcoholic abuse. Just tragic. 38 years old. 38 years old. And to have the impact he had on this community. He would never say no. He’s the person you’d call, ‘Hey, I have something I want to do for a child in need, a family in need, a military member in need.’ He was always there. I don’t know how he balanced his schedule.”
The Sheriff Also Revealed That Jackson’s Family Believes He Suffered From CTE
The family told the sheriff that Jackson “suffered from CTE. They believed he had a lot of concussion problems. When you suffer from that, you’re not your normal self. They believe wholeheartedly that all of these actions were a result of what he suffered from while he was playing in the NFL,” the sheriff said. He added that the CTE diagnosis was “speculation” at this point.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is the term used to describe brain degeneration likely caused by repeated head traumas. CTE is a diagnosis made only at autopsy by studying sections of the brain.”
The sheriff previously paid tribute to Jackson.
“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” he said in an earlier news release.
“Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else. Football aside, he touched countless lives through his Jackson In Action 83 Foundation. We shared a passion for supporting military families, and three years ago, Jackson was even made an honorary deputy by the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to recognize his dedication to the community. He will be sorely missed by not only football fans across the country, but also the people here in Hillsborough County who reaped the benefits of his generous contributions.”
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