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Jake Ehlinger’s family releases statement saying Texas player died of accidental overdose

Jake Ehlinger’s family released a statement Thursday saying the former Texas football player’s death in May was the result of an accidental overdose of what was believed to be Xanax laced with Fentanyl.

Austin police said they responded to a call at 12:18 p.m. May 6 and found Ehlinger in the 1200 block of West 22nd Street. The Westlake graduate was 20.

Carrying the flag:As Texas remembers Jake Ehlinger, carrying his '48' flag becomes an honor for former teammates

Texas linebacker Jake Ehlinger carries the U.S. flag before a game. Ehlinger was found dead May 6.

“Today we are sad to share that we have learned that Jake was a victim of an accidental overdose of what was believed to be Xanax laced with toxic drugs including deadly Fentanyl,” the Ehlinger family statement said. “The spread of counterfeit pills is an ongoing and significant issue throughout our country, particularly in schools, colleges, and universities.

“As our family continues to process Jake’s death, we felt it was important to share these details with the hope that Jake will not have died in vain. We pray that sharing Jake’s story will help shed light on this problem and prevent other families from also tragically losing a loved one.”

Jake Ehlinger

The American-Statesman was one of several local media outlets to file an open records request on the cause of death with the Travis County medical examiner. That request was forwarded to the Texas attorney general's office for a ruling.

Supporting Sam:Through grief and community, Sam Ehlinger has 'found peace' after losing his brother and father

Ehlinger's brother, Sam, attended the funeral and then went back to Indianapolis. Sam Ehlinger is a Texas ex and a quarterback with the Colts. Jena Ehlinger, Sam's and Jake’s mother, has not spoken publicly. 

“Our hearts are broken, and we are still grieving over the loss of our son and brother, Jake,” the family statement said. “We have been overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support received since his untimely passing in May. We sincerely thank everyone who has reached out.”

The family continues to request privacy at this time, according to Austin attorney Ed Burbach.

Contact Brian Davis by phone or text at 512-445-3957. Email bdavis@statesman.com or @BDavisAAS.