Local officials have determined that country music singer Luke Bell died of an accidental fentanyl overdose, according to a news report.
Bell, 32, was found dead in Tucson, Arizona, on Aug. 29 near where he was last seen before being reported missing on Aug. 20, the Tucson Police Department said at the time.
An autopsy report released Monday by the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office and obtained by local ABC affiliate KGUN 9 said “fentanyl intoxication” was the cause of death, “in consideration of the known circumstances surrounding this death, the available medical history, and the examination of the remains.”
“The manner of death is accident,” the report said, noting that he died on Aug. 26.
At the time, his friends, loved ones and colleagues had been trying to find him. His body was found three days later in a shaded part of a parking lot near North Craycroft and East Grant roads.
Officials said drug paraphernalia littered the scene.
“Luke had a gentle heart, a wanderer’s spirit and a musical gift that he was fortunate to share with us and the world,” his family told TMZ in a statement. “Unfortunately, Luke suffered from the disease of mental illness, which progressed after his father’s death in 2015.”
Bell’s 2014 debut album “Don’t Mind if I Do” led to a record deal two years later and a self-titled album that won over critics, according to Yahoo. He struggled with severe bipolar disorder, however, which his family said was manageable for a while.
“Luke was supported through this disease by a community of loving family and friends,” their statement said. “Despite this, he was unable to receive the help he needed to ease his pain.”
“Our hearts go out to the millions of people affected by mental illness who, like us, understand the devastating disappointment of a system that consistently fails to provide caring solutions to those who suffer,” the statement concluded.
Need help with substance use disorder or mental health issues? In the US, call 800-662-HELP (4357) for the SAMHSA National Helpline.