Andy Reid's Son Died of Accidental Heroin Overdose, DA Says

Northampton County District Attorney John Morganelli says the oldest son of Eagles football coach Andy Reid died of an accidental heroin overdose at Lehigh University in August.

The oldest son of Philadelphia Eagles Coach Andy Reid died of an accidental heroin overdose but "the investigation isn't completely over," the Northampton County district attorney announced Thursday.

District Attorney John M. Morganelli said investigators want to talk to the last two people who saw Garrett Reid, 29, alive and also find out who may have supplied him with illegal drugs.

"I am confident that Reid's death was the result of a self-injected lethal dose of heroin," Morganelli said.

Reid died on Aug. 5. At that time, Morganelli said, Reid was in possession of "a substantial amount of syringes and needles." A used syringe and spoon were also found, he said.

The drug paraphernalia discovered in a Reebok gym bag in Reid's apartment room at Lehigh University, where the team held training camp, included:

  • 64 needles
  • 47 syringes
  • 19 vials of an unknown liquid

"Many of the needles and syringes were unopened," Morganelli read from a statement. "The origin of these items is not known. The investigation from this point forward will be focused on trying to determine the identity of any individuals who may have facilitated Mr. Reid by delivering illegal drugs and/or drug paraphernalia to him either in Northampton County or Philadelphia."

Reid was found in his bed at the Sayre Park dorms after Lehigh University Police responded to a 911 call at 7:20 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5.

"Responding officers' observations initially at the scene did not suggest evidence of foul play but did suggest the use of illegal drugs," Morganelli said.

He said Reid was found lying on his back on the bedroom floor and his body was covered with a tan blanket. A chair was near his lower legs.

"It appeared that Reid had been seated in the chair and the chair had fallen backwards," Morganelli said.

Attempts to revive Garrett Reid were unsuccessful.

Morganelli said that toxicology tests came back within the past 10 days and that they determined that Reid died from an accidental heroin overdose.

Reid had a struggle of almost 10 years with drug addiction and drug dealing. He was helping at camp with players' stength training and conditioning.

Northampton County Coroner Zachary Lysek said that toxicology reports suggested "chronic use" of drugs.

Lysek said he notified the Reid family about the findings sometime before Thursday.

The coroner would not speculate about how long Reid may have been using drugs.

Morganelli said that a number of individuals were interviewed by Lehigh University Police to determine the last person who may have seen Reid before his death.

He said the interviews determined that two people had seen and spoken with Reid around 11:15 p.m. Saturday and in the early morning hours Sunday.

They said Reid appeared fine and that there was nothing unusual about his demeanor.

Reid's cell phone was confiscated, but a data analysis has not been completed as of this time, Morganelli said.

Morganelli said he has contacted Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, who has offered his help. He also said that law enforcement "has had full and complete cooperation of the Philadelphia Eagles organization."

During a question-and-answer period, Morganelli said that investigators want to talk again to the last two people who saw Reid alive, but he didn't name them.

"The investigation is going to go back to the Eagles organization," he said.

Philly.com wrote an extensive report on the Reid family's upheavals in 2010.

Here is a timeline of Garrett Reid's troubled life leading up to the tragedy at Eagle's Training Camp in Bethlehem:

2003: Garrett Reid enters drug rehab at age 20. Reid said he didn't use drugs until he graduated from high school but then started with marijuana and alcohol at age 18. That was followed by prescription pain killers Percocet and OxyContin and then cocaine and heroin, according to an ESPN news report.

January 2007: Garrett Reid ran a red light in Plymouth Township and crashed into a car. Syringes with heroin and testosterone were found in his SUV. He tested positive for heroin use.

(That same day in a separate incident, Garrett’s brother Britt pointed a handgun at another driver following a dispute. He pleaded guilty to multiple charges including carrying a firearm without a license, a felony.)

Coach Andy Reid took a 39-day leave of absence from the team and accompanied his sons to drug rehab.

November 2007: Judge calls the Reids a “family in crisis,” citing searches of Reid home that revealed both illegal and prescription drugs throughout the house. Garrett was called a drug addict and dealer who said he got a thrill out of selling drugs in "the 'hood." He was sentenced to 23 months in jail.

Reid smuggled 89 pills into the Montgomery County Correctional Facility by hiding them in his rectum.

May 2009: Garrett Reid returned to prison after getting into a fight at a halfway house where he was staying. Reid was incarcerated at Graterford Prison after beating up a fellow resident of the house where he lived as part of court-ordered drug treatment.

June 2010: Garrett Reid was no longer required to check into a halfway house because he’d been living clean, according to a Philly.com report.

August 2012: An officer received a 911 call at 7:20 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 5 reporting an unresponsive man at the Sayre Park dormitories at Lehigh University. Attempts to revive Garrett Reid, 29, were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead.

Anthony Wayne October 19, 2012 at 02:08 PM
Cigarettes are likely to become currency after the feds are done destroying, and more government is not the answer to the drug problem.
Bob October 19, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Wow, glad to see people comment on things other than the election articles on the patch.. anyways accidental OD is PR terms to soften the results of what happened. once you use heroine ur addicted, its a small chance of recovery and strong chance of relapse even if you do...OD is inevitable if you are not the rare percentage to survive. It is sad that another parent lost their child to drugs, but i can care less that this parent is andy reid vs. Another person. Its sad, but his son should have known better in the first place, you cant just try heroine, it leads to death...no other way to think about it. So with that, its hard for me to sympathize with well educated families who go through this...the son was not ignorant to the issue nor was drugs the only avenue in his life, he was a dumbass for thinking he could just 'try' heroine and nothing would happen...he became just like every other person that tried it..addicted, struggled to recover (even with all the money you can throw at it), and now it led to his death and a lot of people grieving...what a waste
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 02:56 PM
So let me get this straight, anonymous. Because I said it's probably in poor taste to make it about you--whether Garrett Reid betrayed his responsibilities to the football team and ticketholders or some other such nonsense--when someone's child dies, under any circumstances, you feel that it gives you the right to condemn a man you did not know, to whom you have no personal connection and whose existence in no way affected you other then as the employees of a football team you follow? Your priorities are way skewed. And still the labeling from you continues. Claptrap, liberal, dirty hippies. I hope that you have an easier time understanding people when you meet them in person because you're doing a crummy job of it on the Internet. People are more than just a collection of viewpoints that you attach to them instead of taking the time to understand who they are. And Richard, no I don't know whether the Reids would shed a tear for me. And it's not like I'm shedding a tear for them. The discussion was not about whether it's okay to have an emotional connection to people you don't know, but whether it's necessary to demean them after their death. My point isn't that you don't have a right to your opinion and especially not that you have to agree with mine. My point is that when people start typing things about strangers on Internet articles they tend to abandon any sense of manners or morality because it's easier to rage blindly into the void. I don't want that on my website.
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 03:35 PM
And by the way, Anonymous, it's also important to acknowledge the story you tell below. If I had had those experiences, I would absolutely feel the way that you do. And I will also grant you that Garrett Reid is a largely unsympathetic character, and that his death is further complicated by the discovery of hypodermics and large quantities of vials at the scene. But I don't subscribe to the mind-your-own-and-let-others-mind-their-own perspective. For one thing, those problems come home to roost for all of us; for another, the issues behind addiction--mental illness, trauma, etc.--are not being appropriately addressed in our country right now, and if we keep using convenient excuses of blaming the addict, we will never correct the peripheral issues around them. Like I said, we've got more coverage coming up on this in the next week or so on Collingswood Patch. Stay tuned...
Mike October 19, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Here going the liberals of peace and tolerance again Classy !
Frankie DeCat October 19, 2012 at 04:23 PM
why are there no "accidental DUI fatalities ?
Ann Hankins October 19, 2012 at 05:29 PM
I'm somewhat confused over " it's a mental illness/disease" to be a drug addict. It's all very P.R. to put it that way, but is it based on ACTUAL fact? I'm certain there are studies done my medical professionals, those who would love nothing more than to have to classified as a legitimate illness, hence something that can be billed for. But lest take a look at the facts. You can be born and raised by drug addicted parents. Does that make you genetically predisposed to taking drugs or is that " learned behavior"? Do people take drugs to counter effects of an already existing mental illness? I.E. " I only feel RIGHT when I'm on heroin." To me, thats not an illness related to being a drug addict, thats an undiagnosed mental illness that you are self medicating for.I do feel sorry for people who's lives are affected by these conditions but lets face facts here. We live in a " it's not MY fault" society. So And So gets loaded and runs his car into a bus stop of children but it's not HIS fault, his Dad was an alcoholic so he had no choice but to be one himself. Little Johnny was born to a heroin addicted mother than adopted out by some God Fearing well to do family where he later gets high and kills them all, but it's not HIS fault he was genetically predisposed to addiction.
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 05:43 PM
Mental illness can be a biological function. It can also be brought on by trauma, negative environments, reactions to situations that are above and beyond regular human experience. It's not an excuse to say that it's a disease, it's just accurate to say like you did, that addiction and self-medication are often the manifest symptoms of the illness. And your point about billing codes is well-documented. But when the police professionals in my region say that 90% (a rough estimate) of their crime is related to addiction, then we have to start looking at the root causes.
Jay Bell October 19, 2012 at 05:50 PM
My prayers go out to Andy Reid and his family. He is a good man, and I hope his family can learn as well as heal from this tragedy. www.firebrandcentral.com
kevin October 19, 2012 at 05:54 PM
timeline of drug abuse interspersed with both voluntary and court ordered treatment stretches back to 2003 this guy says "treatment is a reasonable alternative" commence eye rolling!
Matt Skoufalos (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 07:09 PM
Bob October 19, 2012 at 07:11 PM
There was enough possible suppliers at training camp for Reid to get anything he needed.
Lavender Green October 19, 2012 at 07:14 PM
Although the family does deserve condolences, I wonder why none of them were aware that he was doing heroin. There are so many people out there addicted to this and I just have to say, if this was not his first time using (which would be bad enough) then please stop reporting on the news about drug addicts and their stupidity.
Jeepers63 October 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM
Accidental is not an issue when doing heroin or any other hard drugs. If you have a new batch, don't do as much till you know how good it is, it's that simple. Having more then one drink of alcohol is not accidental.
Jeepers63 October 20, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Treatment will not work if you don't want it. Going to prison isn't always a bottom for many. If you don't hit a bottom, stopping won't happen.
Concerned Resident October 20, 2012 at 11:41 AM
How in the world would it have been possible for this heroin addict to help the Eagles with conditioning at training camp? Ludicrous & waste of the organization's $. He was only there b/c of his father who obviously did something wrong in his parenting if both sons turned out like this.
Catherine October 20, 2012 at 12:01 PM
Or, is it possible that Garrett had collected a stockpile because he was in the middle of nowhere for summer training and knew access would be harder than in Philadelphia or, even worse, was supplying team members...with heroin or performance enhancing drugs. Could there be a larger story here?
A-F October 20, 2012 at 01:44 PM
I accidentally poured toooo much bleach down my throat also ;O/ it's not ACCIDENTAL ! Why IT'S ! STUPIDITY!!!! for doing it in the first place. I think I'll have a beer overdose maybe drink 12oz instead of 10oz's
A-F October 20, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Oh we must care....oh wait who is he anyway lol.
Kay October 22, 2012 at 11:49 AM
The sad thing is a family loss a son.
Paul Nolan October 22, 2012 at 07:35 PM
Sad. I would hate for my son to think that drugs were his only happiness. To bury him would kill me.
The Swell Guy October 23, 2012 at 12:53 AM
The death of the Reid son is simply a symptomatic physical manifestation of a much deeper disease which emanates from the core of the Reid family.
kurt gutzler October 24, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Hey Gil, ever smoke weed? did it lead you to heroin? Juswunnerin.
Karin Fox November 19, 2012 at 08:41 AM
The intent was to get high, not die.
Karin Fox November 19, 2012 at 08:43 AM
The intent was to get high, not die. If he'd intended to die it would be an intentional overdose. Get it?
Jeepers63 November 19, 2012 at 03:07 PM
Your so right, a suicide waiting to happen says it all. The same with alcohol abuse, it's a slow death. Tobacco doesn't have a thing to do with any of this. There are many addicts & alcoholics who don't smoke tobacco, just like there are many people who die of cancer who never smoked tobacco.
Jeepers63 November 19, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Thank you for sharing Cathy, you know what life is like having to live with this trauma. I've walked a thousand + miles in those shoes. I've been a friend of Bill W. for 28+ yrs. :)
Jeepers63 November 19, 2012 at 03:29 PM
Patty.....people can point the finger & say he or she is an addict or a drunk, that's easy but society has no clue on the process of recovery. That's the big problem. The family & friends become enablers, which just keeps the addict/drunk to continue on to their slow death.
Unapologetic Pot Head. November 26, 2012 at 03:10 PM
To gilbert:::: I know people who smoked marijuana for years and they don't do heroin or any other hard core drug. Maybe tocacco is a gate way drug. Maybe it's alcohol. We can make all kind of arguments like that you idiot.
Wayne November 26, 2012 at 10:48 PM
I am by no means an English major, and I know this is an informal forum, but the (lack of) spelling and grammar in these posts scare the hell out of me.


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