• Positive drug test showing cocaine in football player's body may not be accurate, coroner says

    By: Tom Dees


    BYHALIA, Miss. - It may be two years before we find out what killed the Mississippi high school football player who died after collapsing during a game. 

    Dennis Mitchell Jr., who went to Byhalia High School, collapsed on the sideline of the school’s game in Coahoma County on Aug. 24. 

    RELATED: Mid-South football player had cocaine in his system when he died, officials say

    The Marshall County Sheriff’s Office told FOX13 Wednesday that Mitchell had cocaine in his system at the time of his death, but now officials are saying that result may not be accurate. 

    The Coahoma County Coroner said the drug test results obtained from the hospital Mitchell was at could have been a false positive. 

    Download the FOX13 Memphis app to receive alerts from breaking news in your neighborhood.


    Trending stories:

    Even if the test said there was cocaine, Coroner Scott Meredith said that might not be the case. 

    Meredith said the test ordered in the hospital is “very broad.” While it did show that cocaine was in Mitchell’s system, it could have been a number of other drugs. 

    Mitchell’s mother told FOX13 the only medication her son was on was allergy medicine. She doesn’t believe Mitchell’s death was heat or injury related. 

    Final answers may not become clear until the official toxicology report and autopsy both are released.

    The Marshall County Schools superintendent told FOX13 the entire Byhalia football team was drug tested last week before the game. 

    Parents gave their permission for the drug tests, and law enforcement said the tests were a safety precaution because a “perfectly healthy 16-year-old died on the sidelines.”

    Next Up: