Answers to what caused the death of former UW football player Johnie Kirton may not come for a while.
A spokeswoman for the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office said this afternoon that there remains no official cause of death on Kirton, who was found dead in a Santa Clara, Calif., hotel room Monday night. In fact, the Office only today released an official identification of his body, confirming that it was Kirton who was found.
As for a cause of death, the spokeswoman called it a “pending investigation” and that it could take 12-20 weeks to determine a cause while tests are completed. She wouldn’t specify what kind of tests, saying only that there are a number of tests done as a regular course of action.
Darren Arbet, the co-owner and coach of the San Jose SaberCats, the team with which Kirton was playing when he died, told the San Jose Mercury News yesterday that they have been told that the cause of death was “natural causes.”
But the spokeswoman for the Coroner’s Office said that is not official, saying simply “we don’t know anything.”
As the Mercury News has reported, police do not suspect foul play.
Kirton, who played running back, tight end and defensive line for UW from 2005-08 and was a captain on the 2008 team, was 26.
He had scored the winning touchdown for the SaberCats in an 84-77 Arena Football League win over Chicago Saturday night. He was honored today as the league’s Player of the Week.