BRANDON, Fla. (AP) — Former NFL wide receiver Vincent Jackson was found dead Monday at a Florida hotel room, days after authorities spoke with him as part of a welfare check, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
A housekeeper discovered the 38-year-old’s body at around 11:30 a.m. Monday, official said.
There were no signs of trauma and the medical examiner’s office was looking into a cause of death at the Homewood Suites in Brandon, near Tampa.
Sheriff’s officials said his family initially reported Jackson missing on Wednesday. Deputies tracked him down to the hotel two days later, spoke with him and canceled the missing persons case.
Sheriff Chad Chronister said his department has opened an investigation.
“My heart aches for the many loved ones Vincent Jackson leaves behind, from his wife and children to the Buccaneers nation that adored him,” Chronister said in a statement posted on social media.
“Mr. Jackson was a devoted man who put his family and community above everything else,” the sheriff said, noting that Jackson was made an honorary deputy.
Jackson played for the San Diego Chargers for seven seasons before becoming a free agent because of a contract dispute. He then went on to play five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers before retiring in 2018.
His fans expressed their shock and grief across social media.
“We are all mourning the loss of our beloved @VincentTJackson. His wife and family ask that everyone respect their privacy at this time,” tweeted the Jackson In Action 83 Foundation, a nonprofit that Jackson founded to support military families.
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