Former star swimmer died of accidental fentanyl poisoning, police say

A former star swimmer who was found dead in the U.S. Virgin Islands in February died of accidental fentanyl poisoning, police said.

Jamie Cail, 42, died of "fentanyl intoxication with aspiration of gastric content," the Virgin Islands Police Department said Saturday in a news release, citing an Aug. 22 autopsy report from the U.S. Virgin Islands Office of Medical Examiner.

The Virgin Islands Police Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment Sunday, and a spokesperson for the medical examiner's office could not be reached for comment.

Cail, who was originally from New Hampshire, was found dead by her boyfriend on the floor of their home on Feb. 21, when he had returned from a bar shortly after midnight, police said.

The boyfriend and a friend then took Cail to Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic, where doctors attempted to perform CPR before she was pronounced dead.

Police previously said the Criminal Investigation Bureau was investigating Cail’s death.

As a teenager, Cail won a gold medal in the 800 free relay as a member of the U.S. team at the 1997 Pan Pacific Championships, according to the swimming news website SwimSwam.

She won the California high school championship in the 200-meter individual medley and the 500 free, and she swam at the University of Southern California, according to SwimSwam.

She was also a swimmer with the University of Maine from 2000 to 2001, according to the school’s alumni association.

Deaths from drug overdoses involving fentanyl — a powerful opioid used to treat severe pain that can also be lethal, even in small doses — 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, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The White House earlier this month asked Congress for nearly $800 million in additional funding to fight fentanyl overdoses by expanding access to addiction care and assisting the departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services in working to reduce the amount of fentanyl entering the country.

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