An American television producer found dead on a hotel balcony in Uganda last week died after taking contaminated coke, police and a private investigator said on Saturday. An official toxicology report confirmed the narcotic was in Jeff Rice’s blood, dispelling initial suspicions the father of two known for his work on the U.S. show “The Amazing Race” had been poisoned by attackers. Rice, who was found slumped over a table bleeding through the nose and mouth, died of asphyxiation, a post mortem showed. Drug users who fall unconscious risk inhaling vomit.
“Rice … used cocaine which had lethal additives and that’s what killed him,” Uganda police spokesperson Asuman Mugenyi told Reuters. Brad Nathanson, a private investigator and friend of Rice, said he had been shown the toxicology report by police and there was no evidence of foul play in Rice’s death. “In fact it was as a result of buying bad drugs, coke to be specific … it was a bad concoction,” Nathanson told reporters. “I have read the toxicology report … it shows that there were small traces of coke in their blood and urine,” he said, adding he had traveled to Uganda as a friend of the Rice family following rumors he had been poisoned, and not for payment.
Rice’s assistant, identified as Kathryne Fuller, was found unconscious when Rice’s body was discovered Feb. 18 at the Serena hotel in the capital, Kampala. She is now reported to be conscious but paralyzed down the right side of her body. Early on, there had been speculation that the two had been poisoned, then that they might have been forced to consume the drugs, because of the high amount of coke in Rice’s stomach. NBC News contributor Clint van Zandt said on the “TODAY Show” on Saturday that it seemed unlikely that Rice would have willingly taken that amount of coke.
If Rice and Fuller were believed to have voluntarily consumed the drugs, Fuller could be prosecuted under Uganda’s drug laws. Ugandan police said on Saturday they had arrested a man who confessed selling drugs to the pair who had been in the east African country working on a documentary.
SMH. This is why you kids should stay away from the drugs.