CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago rapper Juice WRLD died of a drug overdose when he collapsed at Midway International Airport last month, shortly after arriving on a flight from California, an autopsy has found.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office said Juice WRLD, whose real name is Jarad Higgins, died of “oxycodone and codeine toxicity,” and his death was ruled an accident.
Higgins suffered an apparent seizure on Dec. 8, shortly after arriving on a private flight from California. A Homeland Security officer at the airport administered Narcan, but Higgins later died at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn.
Area Central detectives opened a death investigation after Higgins died, but police said there were no obvious signs of foul play.
Born in Chicago, the 21-year-old rapper moved to south suburban Homewood as a child, and graduated from Homewood-Flossmoor High School in 2017.
He became a breakout rap star in 2018, when his debut album “Goodbye & Good Riddance” reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 chart in its third week of release in June 2018. His second album, “Death Race for Love,” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 2000 in March 2019.
Juice WRLD also won the award for Best New Artist at the Billboard Music Awards in 2019.
His track “Lucid Dreams (Forget Me)” has been streamed a billion times and first put the rapper on the map.
Juice WRLD was open in his songs and in his words about drug use in the music business, but months before his death, he told his million Twitter followers that he was done with codeine saying, “Addiction kills all, but you can overcome.”
Federal authorities seized 70 pounds of marijuana from the private plane that flew Higgins from California to Chicago after it arrived at Midway on Dec. 8.
Police said they were discovered by Illinois State Police K-9s after arrival. Chicago police report no one from the plane claimed ownership of the luggage.
It was about that time Juice WRLD went into a seizure.
Police said two members of Juice WRLD’s security detail later revealed they were armed when officers responding to Juice WRLD’s medical emergency at Midway asked them if they had weapons.
Christopher Long, 36, of Buena Park and Henry Dean, 27, of Chicago were arrested on gun charges. Long was charged with one misdemeanor count of unlawful use of a weapon. Dean was charged with carrying a concealed weapon at an airport and one count of possession of a high capacity magazine and piercing bullets.