Purcell Death Ruled a Suicide


Published on August 9 2012 11:32 am
Last Updated on July 14 2013 12:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The Effingham County Coroner's Office is reporting the June 24 death of James J. Purcell, Jr. is being ruled a suicide.

On the evening of his death, authorities responded to a 911 call after the 57-year-old Purcell had been found unresponsive in his residence by a family member.  The Coroner's Office reports Purcell had been depressed over the recent death of a grandchild.  He was pronounced dead at 9:10p but is believed to have died earlier in the day based on physical assessment findings of the coroner.

The cause of death is oxycodone, diazepam, and amitriptyline intoxication.  The toxiclogy studies, done as part of a coroner's investigation, showed toxic concentrations of oxycodone and amitriptylene in the blood along with diazepam, another central nervous system depressent.  This toxic combination of drugs can cause respiratory depression, severe pulmonary edema, hypoxia and severe cerebral edema, leading to respiratory and cardiac arrest.