A preliminary medical examiner’s report said former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson might have been dead for up to three days when he was found in a hotel room in Hillsborough County, Fla., according to Tampa’s WFLA News.
Jackson was found by a hotel housekeeper on Monday at approximately 11:30 a.m. He was 38 years old.
Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Department says hotel staff had entered Jackson’s room on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 and found Jackson sitting on the couch in a slouched position, assuming he was asleep. Staff grew concerned when they entered the room on Feb. 15 and saw Jackson lying in the same position.
Family members reported Jackson missing on Feb. 10. Jackson checked into the Homewood Suites on Feb. 11, and spoke to authorities on Feb. 12 after Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officials located him at the hotel. The missing persons report was canceled after officials assessed Jackson’s well-being.
The exact cause of death is not yet known, though the preliminary medical report showed no signs of trauma.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday that it believes Jackson suffered from chronic alcoholism and concussions at the time of his death, per ESPN’s Jenna Laine, though the family said the sheriff’s office “does not speak on behalf of the Jackson family.”
Allison Gorrell, spokesperson for the family, told Ken Bolson of The New York Times that the family will be donating Jackson’s brain to researchers at Boston University to determine if he had chromic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative brain disease linked to recurring head trauma.
“Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible,” Gorrell said. “It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.”