Sailors at Kings Bay required to take drug tests after 2 suspected overdose deaths

by: Brittney Donovan, Action News Jax Updated:

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UPDATE, 10/18/17: All drug testing programs at Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay are under review after the death of two sailors within days of each other.

Kingsland police say Brian Jerrell and Ty Bell died of apparent drug overdoses at the same home days apart.

A source within the naval base tells Action News Jax that cocaine and fentanyl were found in the home where Jerrell and Bell were found dead.

We're told every command at the base was required to take a drug test this week.

Original story below:

Kingsland police are investigating after two U.S. Navy sailors were found dead days apart at a Kingsland home.

Officials say Brian Jarrell, 25, was reported missing by his family after he disappeared during a trip to Orlando.


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His wife told investigators the family was at Disney World Oct. 11 for Jarrell's daughter's birthday when he said he wasn't feeling well and left the park.

His wife filed a missing person report with Orange County Sheriff's Office when she got back to the hotel and couldn't find Jarrell.


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Jarrell's shipmates began searching for him in Camden County. They found his car outside a friend's home on Spinnaker Circle on Oct. 12.

They asked their friend Ty Bell if they could look for Jarrell inside the house.

They found Jarrell face-down in the back bedroom. He was unconscious and cold to the touch.

Officials responded and Jarrell was pronounced dead. He had no known medical issues, according to officials.

Police were called to the home on Spinnaker Circle again on Oct. 16 after someone reported seeing a person lying inside unresponsive.


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Police spoke with a U.S. Navy chief, who said he sent two sailors to their shipmate's house after he didn't report for duty.

Police found Bell lying on his back on the couch, unresponsive, with a white foamy substance coming from his nose.

He did not appear to be breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Officials have not released a cause of death for either sailor but added, "initial indications are apparent drug overdose," Lt. Joe Painter, public affairs officer and commander for Submarine Group 10. 

Medical professionals will determine the sailors' cause of death, Painter said.

Neighbor Jenette O'Connor called the loss of Bell and Jerrell a heartbreaking situation.

"It's just a tragic loss to the families, the country, everybody," she said. "I just wish there was something that we could've done to foresee what was going to happen, maybe help them."

Bell, a Petty Officer Second Class, was assigned to the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarine USS Wyoming, which is homeported at Kings Bay.

Jerrell was a Petty Officer First Class assigned to Trident Training Facility.

NCIS is supporting the Kingsland Police Department in the investigation into Jerrell and Bell's deaths.

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