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Amazing Race producer Rice dies of cocaine overdose

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Jeff Rice

Jeff Rice. Internet Photo 

By ANDREW BAGALA

Posted  Wednesday, February 22   2012 at  14:02
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An autopsy carried out on freelance TV producer Jeff Rice’s body that was found in a Kampala hotel room, has revealed that he took an overdose of suspected cocaine, police said Wednesday.

Mr Rice, a freelance producer for American reality TV show Amazing Race run by CBS, a US commercial TV broadcaster, was on Friday found dead, while his colleague, Ms Catherine Fuller was found unconscious in the same room.

Amazing Race is a reality television game show where a team of two competes with other groups to arrive first at a designated destination. It is also aired on NTV on weekends.

Police Spokesman Asuman Mugenyi said yesterday: “Results from the analytical laboratory test indicate that there was an overdose of cocaine, with too much concentration in the stomach.”

Police were by press time yet to identify his nationality. Scene of Crime officers reportedly picked materials they suspect to be contrabands from the room, and have sent the samples to the government analyst for examination.
Mr Mugenyi said Ms Fuller’s health is improving and they are yet to record a statement from her.

According to police, the two hired a room in the hotel on Thursday but on Friday, a hotel worker found the man hanging on a balcony, prompting him to investigate further.

“When they opened the room, they found Ms Fuller lying in coma while Mr Rice was motionless on the balcony. They called police and took Rice to hospital but he was pronounced dead,” Mr Mugenyi said. Ms Fuller was too taken to a hospital in Kololo.

Mr Mugenyi said preliminary investigation pointed at food choking but investigators wondered how it could have happened to both people: “We ordered for another post-mortem which revealed that it was caused by an overdose,” he said.

Illicit drugs are becoming a problem in the country and last year, at least 20 kilogrammes of drugs worth Shs20 billion were destroyed in Kampala.
Police yesterday also refuted allegations that the deceased died of food poisoning or an attack by suspected thugs.

abagala@ug.nationmedia.com