HomeNewsPolice say US swimming star Jamie Cail died from 'accidental fentanyl poisoning'...

Police say US swimming star Jamie Cail died from ‘accidental fentanyl poisoning’ following months-long probe into 42-year-old’s cardiac arrest


A swimming champion found dead in the U.S. Virgin Islands in February died from an accidental poisoning with fentanyl, officials confirmed this week.

Jamie Cail, 42, was initially said to have died from a cardiac arrest.

She was found unresponsive on February 21 by her boyfriend on the floor of his home, on the island of St John, where she lived and worked at a bookshop.

On August 22, a coroner on the USVI announced she died from of ‘fentanyl intoxication with aspiration of gastric content.’

Cail was a member of the US team at the 1997 Pan Pacific Championships as a teenager, and won a gold medal on the team’s 800 free relay. 

Cops have refused to confirm if Thomas is a suspect in Cail's death - with Jean insisting police cannot be trusted to investigate the incident properly

Jamie Cail, 42, was found unresponsive on February 21 by her boyfriend – who has not been identified – with police launching a criminal investigation 

Authorities confirmed the medal-winning swimmer (second from right)  was discovered on the floor of her boyfriend's home on St John Island before being taken to the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic

Authorities confirmed the medal-winning swimmer (second from right)  was discovered on the floor of her boyfriend’s home on St John Island before being taken to the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic

Hospital staff on St John performed CPR when she arrived with her partner and a friend and ‘indicated that she was in cardiac arrest’, but Cail ‘succumbed’ and passed away in the early hours.

Detectives were informed of the dead-on-arrival case, with an autopsy being performed to determine her cause of death.

Deaths from fentanyl, a powerful opioid used to treat pain, have been on the rise in the U.S. in recent years. 

There were more than 100,000 deaths from drug overdoses in 2021, most of which were caused by fentanyl.

While the U.S. Virgin Islands has significant drug trafficking activity, primarily in cocaine and marijuana, fentanyl has not been a major problem in the territory until recently.

Cail’s death is the second in the islands from the drug. 

The first reported fentanyl-related death in the U.S. Virgin Islands occurred on April 28, 2021, when 30-year-old Rachl ‘Starchild’ Atnip was found dead at her home on St. Thomas.

Police have not said if they are investigating the source of the fentanyl that led to Cail’s death, and it’s unknown if additional fentanyl-laced drugs are currently for sale on the street. 

Her family said they have been left ‘devastated’ and ‘shook to the core’ by her death, but friends posted several cryptic messages about the tragic swimmer’s passing.

One claimed she had been ‘trying to escape’, and added that she ‘deserves justice’ despite no arrests being made in connection with her death.

They described her as an ‘amazing human and friend’, while writing in a separate post about Cali that they were ‘going to find out the truth’.

Another post – which appeared to also be about the swimmer – said: ‘She tried to escape to start healing. Unfortunately, she didn’t make it in time. You were so close honey’.

The former University of Maine swimmer worked at a coffee shop and bookstore in St John.

Heartbroken residents have left tributes for the award-winning swimmer outside of the store, along with flowers.

Thomas found Cail, 42, unresponsive on February 21 and rushed her to hospital with the help of a friend. Virgin Islands' Police say Cail suffered a cardiac arrest, and haven't made any further comment

It comes after her family said they have been left ‘devastated’ and ‘shook to the core’ by her death, as friends posted several cryptic messages about the tragic swimmer’s passing 

Heartbroken residents have left tributes for the award-winning swimmer outside of the store, along with flowers

Heartbroken residents have left tributes for the award-winning swimmer outside of the store, along with flowers

The former University of Maine swimmer worked at a coffee shop and bookstore in St John

The former University of Maine swimmer worked at a coffee shop and bookstore in St John 

Cail, from Claremont, New Hampshire, was a star swimmer who competed across the US in her youth.

A friend told WMUR: ‘ She was just she was she was a very beautiful person. She had a huge heart.

‘She was really loving and kind and well-loved and popular on the island and everybody knows her.’

Cail was a member of the US team at the 1997 Pan Pacific Championships as just a teenager, where she won a gold medal on the team’s 800 free relay, according to SwimSwam. 

She also won a silver medal at the 1998-1999 World Aquatics Swimming World Cup in Brazil.

One friend claimed she had been 'trying to escape', and added that she 'deserves justice' despite no arrests being made in connection with her death

One friend claimed she had been ‘trying to escape’, and added that she ‘deserves justice’ despite no arrests being made in connection with her death

In 1996-1997, Cail was included in the ten Top 16 lists published by United States Swimming, and swam in college at USC

In 1996-1997, with Bolles, Cail was included in the ten Top 16 lists published by United States Swimming, and swam in college at USC

The swimming star attended Bolles School, which is known for its swimming program, in Jackson, Florida.

Cail still holds the record for the the 200 yard fly, 400 yard IM, 200 meter IM, and 400 meter IM in the 15-16 age group.

She won several high school state championships in Huntington Beach, where she moved to train with the Golden West Swim Club in California.

She won a silver medal at the 1998-1999 FINA Swimming World Cup in Brazil in the 800 free as a member of the United States Swimming National B Team.

In 1996-1997, with Bolles, Cail was included in the ten Top 16 lists published by United States Swimming, and swam in college at USC.



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