Cameron Boyce's Autopsy Report Has Some Heartbreaking Details

When Cameron Boyce's name was added to the list of actors we lost far too soon, the tragic news of his death at age 20 left his fans, co-stars, friends, and family members heartbroken. It was hard for many to wrap their heads around the idea of someone so young and full of life dying so suddenly. But Cameron's autopsy report provided everyone whose lives he touched with a modicum of closure by offering them some answers about his cause of death.

Before the "Jessie" star died in July 2019, there were no signs that anything was amiss. At the time, he was gearing up for the premiere of his Disney Channel movie, "The Descendants 3," later that month. His co-star Dove Cameron took the news of Boyce's death especially hard. Cameron shared his final Instagram post a day prior to his death, and it now serves as a memorial to the young star. It's a black-and-white photo of Cameron in profile that was taken during an interview with i-D.

Cameron spent part of his final evening alive having dinner with his family. "I mean there was no way to know in hours my son would be dead," his father, Victor Boyce, said during a "Good Morning America" interview. "Like, it was just staggeringly crazy and horrible." When Cameron died, his family released a statement saying that he had suffered a seizure caused by epilepsy, per Today. An autopsy report confirmed as much and provided further details about his death.

Cameron Boyce's roomates tried to save him

On Instagram, Cameron Boyce's father shared a final photo of the actor that was snapped during their family outing. Hours later, Boyce fell asleep and suffered a deadly seizure. One sad detail included in the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner's findings is that Boyce's roommates tried to save his life (via E! News). Perhaps because it was early in the afternoon and they hadn't seen him emerge from his room, "They decided to check on him," the autopsy report read. At the time, they were about to head out the door. What they likely expected to be a quick check-in and goodbye took an awful turn when they realized something was wrong. They called for help and tried to resuscitate Boyce by performing CPR while waiting for an ambulance to arrive. But at 2:35 p.m., he was pronounced dead.

Boyce's official cause of death was sudden unexpected death in epilepsy, or SUDEP. An epilepsy expert, Dr. Orrin Devinsky, told The New York Times that epilepsy sufferers are more likely to have seizures that are potentially fatal if they experience them while they're asleep, which was what happened to Boyce. Devinsky further explained that the respiratory center of the brain can stop working during a bad seizure, so a lack of oxygen is usually what proves deadly in such an episode. Boyce's autopsy report revealed that he was taking the medication Levetiracetam to prevent seizures but described his epilepsy as "non-traumatic."

Cameron Boyce texted with his dad before he died

Cameron Boyce's autopsy report revealed that he was still alive at midnight on the night of his death. This detail seemingly came from his father. "We were texting back and forth up until 12:30," Victor Boyce told ABC News, "and somewhere between the last text he sent me and the morning he was gone." Victor revealed that one of the topics they discussed was the Los Angeles Lakers.

Cameron's autopsy report also touched on his medical history, revealing that he had experienced multiple severe seizures. His mother, Libby Boyce, elaborated on this during a "Today" interview. "He only ever had five seizures in his life," she said. Victor added that they were never too concerned about their son's epilepsy affecting his quality of life because he had seizures so rarely, and when he did, he quickly recovered from them.

Now, Victor and Libby are working to raise awareness of SUDEP through the charitable organization they created to honor their son's legacy as a bighearted philanthropist, The Cameron Boyce Foundation. In a May 2024 appearance on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," the couple revealed that the foundation had also raised $1.5 million to fund epilepsy research. But for them, educating others about the neurological condition is what's really important. According to Libby, she and Victor had no idea that Cameron's seizures were more dangerous because he had them when he was sleeping. "We were not well-informed," Libby told Clarkson before struggling to hold back tears at the thought of her son's death.