UNLV football player Ryan Keeler ‘was dealing with nausea and felt sick for at least a week prior to his death,’ police report says – after 20-year-old was found unresponsive in bed in a studio apartment
UNLV football player Ryan Keeler had been dealing with an illness for ‘at least seven days’ before he was found dead in an apartment building in Las Vegas, according to a police report.
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department documents obtained by TMZ reveal that Keeler was found dead in a bed inside a studio apartment – and that after he was discovered, interviews with a friend of his said Keeler was battling an illness since February 13.
Those documents also detail the friend’s claim that he had seen Keeler at dinner the day before he was found dead and that the football player was ‘feeling a little better.’
The report also details that a man identified with the title of ‘director sports medicine’ informed police that Keeler was given an unidentified prescription medication on February 17 and that he visited him two days later.
Police say UNLV assistant coach Julio Garcia was the first to discover Keeler – having done a welfare check on him earlier in the day.
UNLV football player Ryan Keeler had been feeling sick in the days leading up to his February 20 death, according to reports from the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police
Reports say that Garcia knocked on Keeler’s door and then kicked it down when there was no response.
Garcia found Keeler unconscious and called 911, describing the defensive end as ‘cold to the touch’ when he saw him.
Once police arrived, they discovered Keeler dead and lying face-up in the bed with an empty bottle for prescription medication also at the scene.
The six-foot-six, 275-pound defensive lineman arrived by transfer from Rutgers this season and played in seven games for the Rebels.
Keeler’s two football families – both in New Jersey and Nevada – led tributes to the deceased player who recorded a sack and eight tackles.
UNLV athletic director Erick Harper said in a statement in the aftermath of his death: ‘The UNLV family is in mourning today over the sudden loss of one of our own.
‘Our hearts go out to all of Ryan’s family and friends along with his Rebel teammates.’
Longtime Rutgers coach Greg Schiano also paid tribute, saying there was more to the human behind the helmet.
Defensive lineman Keeler passed away aged 20 in Las Vegas, UNLV announced on February 20
Keeler died at the age of 20, prompting tributes from both Rutgers & UNLV football teams
‘From getting to know him as a recruit, to actually getting to coach him, what stood out most was his passion.
‘His passion for his teammates and his passion for the game of football. We send our love and prayers to Ryan’s family and friends during this difficult time.’
‘Ryan was definitely preparing for a big year this year, but more important than that he was honestly a great person,’ Keeler’s former teammate Austin Ajiake told Fox5.
‘Never complained, had a great attitude, showed up and worked every day. He was the kind of teammate you wanted around you… I am broken for his family and offer them my condolences and prayers.’