Florida Keys Man Who Snorted White Mystery Powder Died of Cocaine Overdose

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has confirmed that the cause of death for 53-year-old Thomas Swindal -- who died after snorting an unknown white powder from a brick he found floating in the Florida Keys -- was a cocaine overdose.

The autopsy results have not come back from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Office, but MCSO Deputy Becky Herrin tells the Pulp that the county's forensic department has informed the sheriff's office that a cocaine overdose caused Swindal's death.

Swindal was fishing with his brother off the shore of Marathon last week when they found a brick floating in the water they believed to be a package of cocaine, police say.

Swindal's brother told police that Thomas Swindal decided to put the brick on their boat and, when he looked back at his brother a bit later, noticed he had the package open and was snorting it up.

Around 90 minutes later, Swindal began to run around the boat, throwing his cell phone and radio into the water, then began mangling the engine with random tools to the point that it wouldn't start, according to the cops.

Swindal's brother then threw all the sharp things and the mystery package of powder off the boat before signaling state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission officers to rescue them.

Swindal was taken to the South Miami Hospital and died the next day, police say.

At the time of his death, the cops said they believed the powder was cocaine, although many observers to the story suggested it was heroin.

Herrin says the sheriff's office is still waiting for the complete autopsy report.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley