Autopsy Findings Rule St. John Woman’s Death Accidental

A few days after Cail’s death, police requested an autopsy by the Office of the V.I. Medical Examiner. (Photo by Judi Shimel)

The autopsy results from the death of a New Hampshire woman living on St. John have been released by the Office of the V.I. Medical Examiner. According to a statement issued by police on Friday, the cause of death for 42-year-old Jaime Cail was accidental and drug-related.

Cail, a retired national swimming champ, was found unresponsive in her home on Feb. 21 and transported to the Myrah Keating-Smith Clinic by friends in a private vehicle. A medical team at the clinic later pronounced her dead.

A few days later, police deemed Cail’s death suspicious and requested an autopsy. By March 1, then Acting Attorney General Carol Thomas-Jacobs confirmed that an autopsy was performed.

Cail was widely known on island as the friendly barista who served coffee and sold lottery tickets at the St. John Marketplace. Displays of her humor could be found in the hand-painted signs she hung around the shop.

Virgin Islands Police Department spokesman Glen Dratte issued a press release about the findings, adding that the results were released on Tuesday.

“ … the Virgin Islands Police Department received a copy of Jaime Cail’s Autopsy Report from the Medical Examiner’s Office. The report stated the cause of death is Fentanyl intoxication with aspiration of gastric content. Manner of death is Accidental,” Dratte said.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse describes fentanyl as a powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine but 50-100 times stronger. More than 109,000 people in the U.S. died from drug overdoses in 2022, with many of them believed to be opioid-related.