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Country musician Luke Bell’s cause of death was an accidental fentanyl overdose, according to ABC 9 KGUN Tucson.
Bell was found dead Aug. 29 at the age of 32, nine days after he was reported missing in Tucson, Arizona. His friend and fellow musician Matt Kinman confirmed Bell’s death on the blog Saving Country Music on the day his body was found.
It was also reported that drug paraphernalia was found at the scene of his death.
The U.S Sun reported that the Pima County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report stated Bell suffered arteriosclerotic cardiovascular disease and had a blood alcohol concentration of 0.076 at his time of death. The Mayo Clinic classifies arteriosclerosis as a condition that occurs when arteries become thick and stiff — sometimes restricting blood flow to the organs and tissues.
Kinman and Bell recently collaborated for shows and livestreams, according to Saving Country Music.
“We came down here to Arizona, to work down here, play some music, and he just took off. He was in the back of the truck,” Kinman told the outlet. “I went in to get something to eat. I came out, and he’d got out of the truck and left.”
Bell was born in Lexington, Kentucky, on Jan. 27, 1990, and was raised in Cody, Wyoming. “The Bullfighter” singer built a name for himself as a musician in Austin, Texas, New Orleans and Nashville, Tennessee.
Bell’s family released a statement following the “Where Ya Been?” artist’s death.
“We have lost our beloved son, brother and friend and we are heartbroken. Luke had a gentle heart, a wanderer’s spirit and a musical gift that he was fortunate to share with us and the world,” the statement read. “We are so grateful to his friends and fans for embracing Luke and his music. We would like to thank all of Luke’s fans, friends and family who have been sharing stories and photos of happy times with him.
“Unfortunately Luke suffered from the disease of mental illness, which progressed after his father’s death in 2015. Luke was supported through his disease by a community of loving family and friends. Despite this, he 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 caring solutions to those who suffer.”
In 2016, Bell released a self-titled, 10-song album and performed at the Stagecoach country music festival in Indio, California, that same year. He previously spoke to the Los Angeles Times about his start and his approach to music.
“I was listening to people like John Prine,” he said, “then I moved to Austin for a couple of years and got into the Texas Tornadoes and that scene. Then I went to New Orleans. I was only there for about six months. I was living in a molding trailer that smelled of bleach in the Lower Ninth Ward. It was tough.”
(Los Angeles Times entertainment reporter Alexandra Del Rosario contributed to this report.)
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