TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Former San Diego Chargers wide receiver Vincent Jackson may have been dead for three days by the time he was discovered in his hotel room earlier this week, according to a preliminary medical examiner’s report.
Jackson, who starred on the Chargers and later the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was found dead at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, Florida on Feb. 15.
A preliminary report from the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department says staff members at the hotel went into Jackson’s room on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 and found him sitting slouched over on the couch and assumed he was sleeping.
The report says the staff members went into Jackson’s room again the morning of Feb. 15 and “were concerned when they found [him] in the same position.” The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said earlier this week a housekeeper found Jackson dead in his hotel room around 11:30 a.m.
Jackson’s family had reported him missing on Feb. 10. According to the new report, the last time deputies confirmed Jackson was alive was on Feb. 11 when they were called to check on him. But the sheriff’s office says deputies canceled the missing persons report after checking on Jackson at the hotel on Feb. 12.
The preliminary report from the medical examiner reiterates what the sheriff’s office said earlier this week that there were no signs of trauma. The medical examiner’s office is still working to determine Jackson’s exact cause of death.
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Crystal Clark said Wednesday that family members indicated Jackson had suffered from chronic alcoholism and concussions, but made clear the investigation into his cause of death was not complete.
“It could be several weeks before we know what led to the untimely and tragic death of Vincent Jackson. The Hillsborough County Medical Examiner’s Office continues to conduct a thorough investigation alongside the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office,” she said. “Based on statements made by relatives of Jackson to detectives, his family had reason to believe he may have suffered from chronic alcoholism and concussions, however, the exact cause and manner of Mr. Jackson’s death will not be certain until his autopsy, among other reports, is complete.”
Jackson’s family spokesperson confirmed to WFLA that they have donated his brain for a study on C.T.E., a degenerative brain disease linked to repeated head trauma.
“Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible,” said Allison Gorrell, a spokeswoman for the Jackson family said in a phone interview with the New York Times on Wednesday. “It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.”