Charles Johnson, a former wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, was found dead seven miles from his home in a Hampton Inn hotel room, in Raleigh, North Carolina, on July 17, 2022. His death has been ruled a suicide.
According to USA Today, a report from the state medical examiner's office said he died from a drug overdose. Acute oxycodone, hydrocodone, and mirtazapine toxicity were found in his body, but he had not taken any active prescription drugs.
Johnson, 50, had exhibited strange behavior a week before his death and “purchased a funeral and cremation service,” according to the report. After a two-day, he was found dead in his room when the hotel called the police for a welfare check after he did not check out on July 17. The only items found in the hotel room were “two empty bottles of water, an empty travel container, a pair of sandals, and a pair of eyeglasses,” the report stated. His wallet, cell phone, and keys were at home.
USA Today says Johnson, who was considered permanently disabled, filed a workers compensation case in California, claiming to have suffered from brain and other injuries due to his nine-year NFL career.
Johnson played for the Pittsburgh Steelers from 1994 to 1998, Philadelphia Eagles from 1999 to 2000, one year with the New England Patriots in 2001, and one year with the Buffalo Bills in 2002.
Charles Johnson is survived by his wife, son, and daughter.
If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, contact the national suicide prevention lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text the crisis text line at 741-741.