Inside the Tragic Deaths of 2 of Lamar Odom's Good Friends This Year
Bobby Heyward and Jamie Sangouthai died within less than a week of each other
Two of Odom’s good friends, Jamie Sangouthai and Bobby Heyward, died within less than a week of each other in June.
Sangouthai – who Odom had known since they were just kids – was one of the former basketball player’s closest friends and was even the best man at Odom’s 2009 wedding to Khloé Kardashian.
Sangouthai’s death was caused by a flesh-eating disease from his intravenous drug use, Los Angeles Coroner’s office assistant chief Ed Winter told PEOPLE at the time.
“Cause A is Necrotizing fasciitis. Cause B is chronic intravenous narcotism,” Winter explained. “How it occurred was self-injection and ruled an accident.”
“When does it stop? RIP Jamie Sangouthai,” Kardashian tweeted June 15, followed by another tweet with several heartbreak emojis and crying faces a few hours later.
Kardashian’s good friend Malika Haqq also took to social media to commemorate Sangouthai, posting a picture of herself posing with Sangouthai, Odom and Kardashian. “Thru good and bad times life shows us every spirit matters and leaves a print on the hearts of others after they have passed… RIP Jamie Sangouthai #GodHelpUsAll,” she wrote.
On a recent episode of KUWTK, Kardashian received a call from Odom, who is now her ex-husband, informing her of the sad news.
“This is all just really upsetting,” Kardashian said on the show. “He’s distraught and devastated. Lamar has suffered so much loss in his life. I’m always going to be there for Lamar, especially when something as tragic as this happens.”
“I’m really on high alert for Lamar because I mean, anything I think will set him to spiral, and that’s kind of the last thing I want for him,” she added.”
Just six days after Sangouthai passed, Heyward, who was another good friend of Odom, died at age 30.
The Hollywood producer and writer allegedly died of a drug overdose, and the coroner told PEOPLE at the time that while toxicology tests were still pending, a prescription drug overdose was possible.
A source also told PEOPLE that Heyward had a history of prescription drug abuse and previously checked into rehab.
Heyward and Sangouthai were also friends, and Heyward’s last Instagram post, sadly, was in memory of Sangouthai: “#RIP To my big brother Jamie who always brought light into any room he walked into and laughter as well at all times J you will always be missed. Family for life. #BandOfBrothers #tbt.”
On Tuesday, Odom was found unresponsive at the Love Ranch South in Pahrump, Nevada, about 3:30 p.m. He was taken to a local hospital where he was intubated and then rushed to a Las Vegas hospital for further treatment.
Kardashian was informed of his condition and flew to be by his side Tuesday night.
Dennis Hof, who owns the brothel, told PEOPLE the former NBA star arrived at the establishment on Saturday.
Hof said that by Sunday, Odom “seemed a little sad” but had shown no other signs that anything was wrong.
Two girls who work at the brothel saw Odom go to sleep around 6 a.m. on Tuesday, and found him unconscious when they returned at around 3 p.m., Hof said.
“We [told cops] he wasn’t taking any illicit drugs, he did take herbal Viagra, but that’s the thing with addicts you never know because they hide things,” Hof said of Odom, who has a history of drug and alcohol abuse. “He was just trying to have a good time and get away from all the attention.”