Luke Bell cause of death revealed by medical examiner

photo: Laura E. Partain

Like too many great country music poets before him, Luke Bell died far too young due to the devastating illness of the Lovesick Blues.

Unfortunately, this is not one of the boxes forensic pathologists to check when submitting their autopsy reports. So for Luke Bell, the story is told differently. And similar to the news of his death, Luke Bell’s cause of death became the story du jour, with hundreds of news outlets and tabloids never taking the time to pay attention to Luke Bell or to his music while he was still alive being more than happy to take full advantage of the news of his death.

As Luke Bell’s family said during his when he died on August 29,

“Sadly Luke suffered from a mental illness, which progressed after his father died in 2015. Luke was supported throughout his illness by a community of loving family and friends. 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 care solutions to those who suffer.

Luke Bell disappeared on Saturday August 20 in Tucson, Arizona. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder, it wasn’t the first time Luke had been on the run, sometimes disappearing for weeks or months at a time. But this time it was different since he had done much better recently. So on August 28, close friend and fellow musician Matt Kinman publicly announced that people were on the lookout for Luke. He was officially found the next day.

It turns out there’s a good reason why the nature of Luke Bell’s death is of public interest beyond morbid curiosity. If there had been a criminal act, if he had been the victim of an assault, etc., then it would be imperative to find out so that the perpetrators could be tracked down and brought to justice. The press also plays a role in this regard to inform the public and hold public officials to account. But that’s not what the medical examiner decided in Luke Bell’s case.

According to the autopsy report performed by Pima County Medical Examiner Gregory L. Hess, MD, “Based on the known circumstances surrounding this death, the available medical history and examination of the remains, the cause of death is attributed to fentanyl poisoning. The manner of death is an accident.

Luke Bell was found by a passerby in a shaded area of ​​a parking lot near North Craycroft and East Grant roads in Tucson. His official date of death has been revised to August 26. An important note from the autopsy report that many do not report is that when the medical examiner looked at Luke, he had defibrillator patches on his chest. This means that when paramedics arrived they tried to revive him. Unfortunately, it didn’t help.

Luke Bell isn’t just the Lovesick Blues’ latest victim. He is one of countless people who have succumbed to the fentanyl epidemic. Often those who die from the drug did not know they were taking it. Either they thought they were taking something else, or sometimes the ingestion is purely accidental, or their first time. Fentanyl addicts are those who know how to avoid overdose. Street dealers prey on individuals like Luke Bell who suffer from mental health issues and try to make them dependent.

Luke Bell’s story is now coming to an end, but not the problems he faced in life. Mental health issues continue to rise. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45, like Luke Bell. And until American society is ready to confront these issues head-on, Luke Bell won’t be the last to face them, and it won’t be the last time country music will face them either.

Luke Bell was laid to rest in a private ceremony at Christ Episcopal Church in Cody, Wyoming on September 9. He was 32 years old.

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Those wishing to make a donation in Luke’s memory can donate to the Luke Bell Memorial Fund through Christ Episcopal Churchor are asked to donate to Health Music Alliance.


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