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By Paul Thompson In Lexington, Kentucky For Dailymail.com
Published: 16:57 GMT, 30 September 2015 | Updated: 19:36 GMT, 30 September 2015
- Hunter Montgomery, 19, died Sunday after his parents took him off life support at a Lexington, Kentucky hospital
- A source close to the family claims the teenager may have been experimenting with synthetic pot
- The Fayette County Coroner tells Daily Mail Online that toxicology tests have been taken and a drug overdose is suspected
- Hunter was engaged to Davara Little but they split up several months ago
- Little was given custody of their four-month-old son, Bennett
- Hunter’s mom Tracy Nunan told Daily Mail Online that her son didn’t take drugs and that he recently passed a drug test for a new job
- She described the moment she found her son, saying: ‘Hunter was lying on his side and had vomited. I gave him CPR and he responded a little bit’
The death of the teenage son of country music star Eddie Montgomery may have been linked to drugs, Daily Mail Online can exclusively reveal.
Hunter Montgomery, 19, died at a hospital in Lexington, Kentucky on Sunday after his parents made the decision to switch off his life-support machine.
A coroner told Daily Mail Online that a drug overdose is suspected, and the coroner’s office is waiting for results of drug tests before confirming the cause of death.
But Hunter’s mother – who works as a nurse at a drug recovery center – emphatically denied that drugs were to blame for her son’s death.
She also revealed he was depressed after splitting with his fiancée and the mother of his child, Davara Little, several months ago.
Tracy Nunan (center) denies her son Hunter (behind her) died of a drug overdose, but admits he was depressed after splitting from his fiancée
Grieving Tracy Nunan told Daily Mail Online that she had desperately tried to save her youngest son after finding him unconscious at her home in Lexington.
She also says she can’t understand why her ex-husband Eddie issued a statement saying their son had died after an accident.
She insisted that Hunter had not taken drugs and recently passed a drug test for a new job to show he was ‘clean’.
Tracy, 50, is convinced her son suffered a fatal seizure, but is unable to say what brought it on.
Describing the moment she found her son, she said: ‘Hunter was lying on his side and had vomited.
‘I gave him CPR and he responded a little bit. I don’t know for how long he was without oxygen. The ambulance came and he was taken to hospital.
Death by drugs? Hunter Montgomery (pictured with his ex-fiancée Davara Little) may have been experimenting with synthetic pot according to a source close to the family
‘I think he had a seizure, but I don’t know what brought it on. He did not do drugs and he did not experiment with drugs.
‘I don’t know what caused his death. My Hunter just went to sleep.
‘I am aware that the coroner has asked for toxicology tests and that is standard when someone young dies without explanation.
‘Hunter had recently passed a drugs test for a new job. There was no drugs in his system otherwise he would not have passed.’
It is believed Hunter, who recently became a father to a baby Bennett (pictured), had been on life support since Friday. He died on Sunday
The results of the toxicology tests are not due for at least three weeks. But Mrs Nunan, who was married to Eddie for 20 years, claims she can spot drug users because of the nature of her work.
She added: ‘Hunter just went to sleep. At the hospital they were talking about him having a seizure.
‘I had just got home from Bible study and went up to Hunter’s room to check on him. The TV was on and he was watching ESPN. I saw him lying unconscious on the floor.’
Nunan was unable to explain why her ex-husband had issued a statement that their son had died after an accident.
Hunter was living with his mother and her husband of three years in Lexington after splitting with his fiancée Davara Little.
Little, 21, has custody of their four-month-old son, Bennett.
When Mrs Nunan was asked if Hunter could have taken any pills to cope with his depression, she said: ‘He had some medication but he did not abuse pills.
‘I do not think my son’s death had anything to do with a drug overdose.’
According to medical experts, seizures can be caused by drug overdoses or other factors such as epilepsy.
The type of drugs the coroner is testing for have not been revealed. But a source close to the family speculated Hunter could have been experimenting with synthetic marijuana.
The highly poisonous drug is known to trigger heart attacks as well as other deadly symptoms that have made it illegal in the US.
Eddie Montgomery’s home in Danville, Kentucky.Neighbors say they have been consoling the star
‘Synthetic marijuana seems to be the most popular drug with teenagers in Kentucky,’ said the source, who asked not to be named.
‘It is just tragic and a waste of a life if it turns out that’s what he was involved with. No one knows what chemicals are going into it. There could be anything.’
A spokesman for Eddie Montgomery refused to comment.
Speculation about the teenager’s death has swirled among country music fans across the US since his father made a brief announcement on Sunday about his son’s death.
Fayette County Coroner Gary Ginn carried out an autopsy earlier this week.
He told Daily Mail Online that a drug overdose is a possible cause of death.
‘I can confirm we are involved into the investigation into Hunter Montgomery’s death, Ginn said. ‘A post mortem has been completed and we have taken toxicology samples and are awaiting the results before a cause of death can be determined.
‘As toxicology tests have been taken there is the possibility that his death was caused by a drug overdose.’
Police in Lexington have not been involved in the incident.
A spokesman said they did not receive an emergency call for an ambulance or police officers to attend any incident involving the teenager.
His mother, who had two sons – Kevin and Hunter – and two daughters – Candace and Brooke – with Eddie, confirmed that an ambulance took Hunter to the University of Kentucky Chandler hospital in Lexington, where he died on Sunday morning.
Hunter (left) was killed in a tragic ‘accident’, a spokeswoman for his father Eddie Montgomery (right) said
Davara Little, his ex-fiancée and mother of his four-month-old son, posted a touching message on her Facebook page saying: ‘Hunter gave me the greatest gift a man can give to a woman and no matter what happened to Hunter and I and where our relationship was going, I will forever be grateful for the sweet boy we have together.
‘He lived more in his 19 years of life than most do in 80. Though he left me far too soon, he will always hold a huge part of my heart.
‘Rest easy Hun and forever watch over our sweet baby boy for me.’
To go with the message Little posted a series of photos showing Hunter with his newborn son as well as others of the couple together in happier times.
Little, from Pikeville, Kentucky made no mention of how her ex-boyfriend may have died.
He had proposed to her on stage at one of his father’s concerts in August 2014.
Eddie Montgomery, one half of the successful duo Montgomery Gentry, released a heartfelt statement announcing the death of the youngest of his four children on Sunday.
He said: ‘My son Hunter went to heaven today. I appreciate all your prayers and love and thank you for giving us privacy as we grieve and say goodbye.’
A spokeswoman for the family later added that the family would not be explaining what the ‘accident’ was ‘until the family is ready to release further information’.
The teen’s funeral will take place on Thursday at the Southland Christian Church in Lexington following a visitation for friends and family.
Hunter proposed to Davara Little on stage at one of his father’s gigs in August last year (pictured)
Tracy was at her son’s bedside when the life support system was switched off.
Facebook postings from the ICU unit at the hospital show she had been there since Friday.
Tracy posted a message on her Facebook page on that day, saying her ‘life had stopped’ as she willed her son to live.
She wrote: ‘As I sit here and watch my precious son, I can’t hold back the tears. God you are the mighty healer and I pray you spare my son. I love him and I feel so helpless.
‘I feel like my life has just stopped. Please pray for him. Hunter Montgomery I will not accept anything less than you waking up and being with all of us again. I love you son!
‘Please Jesus allow him to feel your presence and let him feel you walking beside him through this journey. Allow him to feel all the prayers of the wonderful people praying for him.
‘Fight Hunter, you are a fighter!’
Two days after the posting, the life-support machine was turned off.
In the hours that followed, Tracy posted other messages to social media, including a Bible verse and photos of Hunter being baptized.
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Eddie, 51, pictured with country music partner Troy Gentry in June, broke the news of his son’s death via Montgomery Gentry’s Facebook page
Hunter’s ex-fiancée Davara Little posted this photo of them to social medi,a along with a touching message to her former boyfriend
Hunter had gushed about his baby boy (pictured together) on Facebook, calling him amazing and saying that he loved him to death
Hunter’s death is the latest in a series of tragedies to have hit Montgomery in recent years.
In 2010, he revealed he had been diagnosed with prostrate cancer. He had surgery, which was successful thanks to the early diagnosis, but his wife Tracy served him with divorce papers shortly after the disease was spotted.
Tracy later denied the cancer had anything to do with the end of the marriage.
Last year, Eddie filed for bankruptcy in Lexington, with debts of more than $13million from his failed restaurant, Eddie Montgomery’s Steakhouse in Harrodsburg, which he opened with Tracy in 2009.
In April last year, Montgomery married his girlfriend Jennifer Blecher – but days later his home in Danville was struck by a tornado.
Neighbors on the private development where Montgomery lives say they have consoled him over his son’s death.
One close neighbor said: ‘It is so sad. As a father I feel for Eddie. I have seen him outside the house briefly and he looks devastated.’
Several cars were parked outside the home, which is set in more than two acres of land and close to a golf course.