Jo Mersa Marley’s Cause Of Death Is Revealed Months After Singer Was Found Dead

Reggae singer Jo Mersa Marley died of an “acute asthma exacerbation” after being infected with rhinovirus or enterovirus, according to documents obtained by Rolling Stone on Tuesday (June 27).

The publication reported that Jo’s condition often presents as symptoms of the common cold, citing new details from the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Office.

Jo Mersa, the son of Stephen Marley and grandson of Bob Marleydied on December 26 in Miami-Dade County at age 31.

According to Rolling Stone, a toxicology report detected the presence of THC, the chemical in marijuana, along with naloxone and 0.08% of ethanol in his body at the time of his death.

“Naloxone is commonly used to reverse an overdose by blocking the effects of opioids, but it is unclear at this time why the drug was found in Marley’s system,” they noted.

Jo Mersa had a history of asthma, bronchitis, and pneumonia and had not been taking his medication for his asthma diagnosis at the time of his death, according to the Examiner’s Office.

Their report also indicated that Jo had spoken to his mother Kerry-Ann Smith on Christmas Day, the day before his death, and “informed her he was feeling ill, ostensibly due to his asthma.”

mersa
Jo Mersa Marley

His body had no evidence of injury, though his lung showed signs of congestion, hyperexpansion, and increased mucus in its airwaves, along with “enlarged glottic tonsils” and black discoloration in his lungs, resulting from smoking.

“An acute asthma exacerbation due to viral illness is a common occurrence and considered a non-allergic event,” the report said. “Additionally, chronic smoking of combustible products such as tobacco or marijuana is dangerous in a person with asthma.”

On December 27, police reported that at about 10 p.m. on Dec. 26, officers from the Pinecrest Police Department arrived at a shopping center’s parking lot located at 11825 South Dixie Highway, finding Jo Mersa unconscious inside his vehicle.

Paramedics at the scene later determined that he had passed away.

Jo was interred at Nine Miles, St Ann, like his legendary grandfather, Bob Marley in January 2023.

In March 2023, several members of the Marley family paid tribute to Jo Mersa as they commemorated what would have been his 32nd birthday. 

He is survived by his wife Qiara, six-year-old daughter Sunshine, and 12 siblings.

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