Vincent Jackson was likely dead days before his body was discovered: medical examiner

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Vincent Jackson, who played 12 seasons in the NFL, the last five with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, was found dead Monday at age 38. / PHOTO CREDIT: Rob Foldy/Getty Images

TAMPA – Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers player Vincent Jackson was dead for approximately 3 days before staff found him on Monday at the Homewood Suites — located at 10240 Palm River Road in Brandon, Florida.

According to hotel staff, Jackson, who is a South Tampa resident, checked into the hotel on January 11, 2021, and had been staying in a room since that date. Housekeepers had checked the room on Feb. 13 and Feb. 14 and saw Jackson slumped over on a couch but assumed he was asleep.

On the morning of Feb. 15, staff checked the room again and “were concerned when they found [him] in the same position,” a report said. First responders were called and confirmed he was dead.

On February 10, members of the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spoke with Jackson’s family members who called to report that he was missing. A formal report was filed on February 11. 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 medical examiner is still trying to determine a cause of death but confirmed a police report saying there were no signs of trauma to Jackson’s body.

“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,” Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Crystal Clark 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.”

According to the New York Times, Jackson’s family have donated his brain to science for a study on C.T.E. Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) is a degenerative brain disease found in athletes, military veterans, and others with a history of repetitive brain trauma.

“Vincent being who he was would have wanted to help as many people as possible,” a spokesperson for the Jackson family told the Times. “It’s something his family wanted to do to get answers to some of their questions.”

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