The Charlotte Observer ran the following update on the death of Curtis Whitley, the Carolina Panthers former center:
The cause of the death of former Panthers’ center Curtis Whitley still isn’t known, but there is new information to report.
He was found dead at around 6 p.m. Sunday — Mother’s Day, and one day after his 39th birthday — in his trailer in Fort Stockton, Tx., where he’d be living since October, according to a Texas law enforcement official and Whitley’s brother.
The Pecos County Sheriff’s office says there was no sign of foul play and no reason to believe the death was a homicide. It is being called an unattended accidental death, pending an autopsy.
His body was sent to El Paso, Tx., for the autopsy, and is expected to be flown home to North Carolina on Wednesday.
A private ceremony for only immediately family members, per Curtis’ request, is planned for Thursday or Friday near his hometown of Smithfield, N.C.
Whitley, a former Clemson standout, played for the Panthers in 1995 and ’96, the team’s first two seasons. He started 24 games and was suspended four games in ’96 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. The team released him after the season and he played for the Oakland Raiders in ’97 before getting suspended again.