It’s been over a month since Dallas Cowboys fans were saddened and devastated by the news that former running back Marion Barber passed away at just 38 years old. The Cowboys star was found dead in his Frisco, Texas, apartment on June 1 after authorities were called to do a welfare check when another tenant reported water was leaking out of his unit.
At that time, the cause of death had not been reported. Barber’s father said that the medical examiners were having a hard time figuring out the cause of death because his son’s body was found under running water and was beginning to decompose. Marion II said that the Collin County Medical Examiner’s Office was using body tissue to dig further into the cause of death, but ruled out trauma and foul substances in his body. Reports at the time showed that his lungs were in working order and that his heart was in good shape.
Despite several reported struggles with mental illness, Barber’s father revealed that his son specifically requested that his family not donate his brain to Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE) research. For weeks, Barber’s family had to wait for an answer.
On Monday evening, a report from USA Today revealed that the cause of Barber’s death was heat stroke. The tragedy was officially ruled an accident on the autopsy report.
Details emerge about former Cowboys RB Marion Barber’s death, autopsy report shows heat stroke as the cause of death
According to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the police report noted that Barber “was known to have a history of medical problems and mental health concerns.” The police report also stated that Barber’s family members had not heard from him for six days before the body was found in his apartment.
The autopsy report, obtained by USA Today Sports, stated that one of the bathtub faucets in Barber’s apartment was still running when police arrived at the scene. In addition to running water, the thermostat in his unit was set to “heat” at 91 degrees. Exercise equipment was also found.
The aforementioned articles also say that the coroner noted that “Mr. Barber was known to exercise in sauna-like conditions,” in his report.
Many former Cowboys teammates and coaches expressed their sadness after Barber’s death. After six seasons with the Cowboys and on with the Bears, the running back finished his career with 4,780 rushing yards and 53 rushing touchdowns.