Jeff Rice Autopsy: Amazing Race Freelancer Had Cocaine in His System, Blood Coming From Nose
Posted by Administrator on February 23, 2012
Authorities are still saying that all signs point to Jeff Rice dying from a cocaine overdose last week.
An autopsy performed on the producer, who most recently did freelance work on The Amazing Race, turned up “major metabolites of cocaine,” according to details given to the Uganda Police Force and confirmed by E! News.
Per the government’s Analytical Laboratory in Wandegeya, investigators also found a baggie of white powder in Rice’s hotel room that tested positive for opiates as well as acetaminophen, caffeine and acetylcodein.
And it gets gorier from there.
The UPF report states that Rice was found slumped in a chair on the balcony of his room at the Lake Victoria Serena hotel in Kampala, his head resting on a table and blood coming out of his mouth and nose.
Kathryn Fuller, Rice’s assistant, who remains hospitalized, was found unconscious on the floor nearby. Both were booked into room 427, according to police.
“The police were called in by the hotel. The two were taken to hospital. Jeff Rice was declared dead on arrival,” Uganda Media Centre spokesman Fred Opolot tells E! News. “The initial investigations by the doctor who checked them showed Rice probably was suffocated. His lady friend was unconscious and had no indication of suffocation. Above all of that, some white substances were found on the table. Further investigation was done on Jeff Rice. It was found he was intoxicated by a cocaine substance. The police came to the conclusion that he probably had an overdose.”
“We heard reports that he was attacked by thugs,” Opolot continued. “The hotel he stayed at was a 5-star hotel. The rooms can only be accessed by hotel workers or guests. No one can easily walk in an out. There’s good security at the hotel. Those allegations are unfounded.”
They had flown into the country on Feb. 15 to work on a documentary—and the horrific trip may not be over for Fuller anytime soon, reports ABC News.
Because cocaine was also found in Fuller’s system, she may have broken Ugandan drug laws and will need permission from Interpol to be allowed to return home to South Africa, UPF spokesman Asuman Mugenyi told ABC.
“Ms. Fuller is slowly recovering, and when she is recovered enough we will be able to talk to her and find out more about what happened,” Mugenyi said. “She is not able to speak. Although she is responding to the treatment, she is not yet available to explain what transpired.”
“I send my condolences to Jeff Rice,” Opolot told E! News. “It is unfortunate. He came to this country to do a good program—he came across as someone of humanity. It is unfortunate he has passed away and really our condolences to his family. I also want to ensure that the Uganda governance and police force will expedite all investigations to ensure that his cause of death is confirmed. As of now what is known is that Jeff passed away as a result of an overdose of cocaine.”
Rice held dual American and South African citizenship and lived in the Durban area with his wife, Sally Blackwell, and their two daughters.
Blackwell, who originally told reporters that her husband must have been poisoned as a result of a shakedown-gone-wrong, wrote on Facebook yesterday that the family is tentatively trying to get a memorial together for Feb. 27 at Phe Zulu Village in the Valley of 1,000 Hills.
“Thank you to everyone for all the tremendous support and kind words,” she wrote. “It has been truly amazing to receive messages from people around the world who speak so highly of Jeff. Jeff was on a film production in Uganda and was doing what he loves…He was a true asset to the film industry worldwide and Africa was his ‘home’. His dream was to produce in all areas of Africa and for his company ‘Maverick entertainment’ to be known as the company to call on…As soon as I know more details surrounding his tragic loss, I will update this.”
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