Junior Seau autopsy finds no illicit drugs, no brain damage
Junior Seau had no alcohol or illicit drugs in his system when he committed suicide, and an initial examination of his brain showed no apparent damage from his years of football, according to the autopsy and toxicology reports released Monday by the San Diego County medical examiner.
Also, his girlfriend, Megan P. Noderer, told police the 43-year-old Seau had given no indication he planned to kill himself, according to the "investigative narrative" attached to the autopsy report.
When Noderer returned to the home in Oceanside on May 2 after a morning workout at a gymnasium, she found Seau in bed, dead of a gunshot to the chest from a .357-caliber revolver. No note or "documents that were suicidal in nature" were found.
The 6-foot-3, 275-pound Seau, a star at Oceanside High, USC and then the NFL, was taking prescription medicine for orthopedic problems but only drank "socially (and) did not smoke, and there was no history of illicit drug use," according to the report.
At the request of the Seau family, brain tissue was sent to the National Institutes of Health for more complete testing. Brain damage among football players has become a controversial issue in the National Football League, where Seau was a star for the San Diego Chargers and other teams.
The autopsy and toxicology results were released after San Diego news agencies requested them as public documents. But officials at the county medical examiner's office, out of respect for the Seau family, declined to discuss the reports.
--Tony Perry in San Diego
Photo: Junior Seau with the San Diego Chargers. Credit: Associated Press