Asthma Caused UConn Student’s Death: Coroner

A former standout Killingly High School running back was found dead in his UConn dorm room over the weekend.

The medical examiner has determined that Jesse Richeeds, of Danielson, died of natural causes stemming from asthma.

Richeeds, also known as “Jay-R,” graduated from high school in 2012 and was a sophomore at UConn, according to the Norwich Bulletin.

The UConn Fire Department responded to a 911 call reporting a male having trouble breathing in the Shippee Hall Dormitory at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday.

Richeeds’ friends said the Danielson native had asthma and started having trouble breathing early Sunday morning.

“Jay-R started to have asthma problems. He always had asthma problems. He told us to call 911, so we did,” Justin Walters, a UConn sophomore, said.

The group had gone to the UConn block party, then back to their dorm room in Shippee Hall to hang out. 

That's when Jay-R had trouble breathing, they said.

“The operator told me to keep him calm and continue breathing, and I tried to keep him calm,” Waters said. “It became difficult, so I had to try and perform CPR, but I’m not certified so I didn’t know exactly what to do, so I tried my best.”

The UConn Fire Department and a Windham County Memorial Hospital paramedic began to render aid and transported Richeeds to WCMH and he died at the hospital after arrival.

UConn police said on Monday that investigators were investigating the circumstances surrounding Richeeds' death, but there was no indication of any contributing factors other than a pre-existing medical condition.

The UConn Center for Counseling & Mental Health Services has been providing counseling to affected students. 

Students who want to learn more about the services provided by CMHS can visit their website

Friends say the Danielson native was a good kid and always there to make them laugh.

Jay-R was always the one to start a laugh, start a joke,” Schneider Jean-Baptiste said.
 Schneider said Richeeds was also a talented musician.

“He had a dream of becoming a pharmacist, not only to provide for himself, but also for his family,” Jean-Baptiste said.

Richeeds was not playing football at UConn, but was focusing on academics and music.

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