Autopsy confirms Nashville mayor’s son died of overdose in Littleton

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(Photo courtesy Megan Barry and Bruce Barry)

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. — The son of the mayor of Nashville died of what his family characterized as an overdose in Colorado on July 29 and those suspicions were confirmed by the Jefferson County Coroner on Friday.

According to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office, the cause of death was combined drug intoxication.

The report says Max Barry, son of Nashville mayor Megan Barry, had a history of prescription drug abuse with withdrawal symptoms; prior drug rehabilitation; illicit drug use; tobaccos smoking; marijuana use; hypertension and allergic rhinitis.

Hypertensive cardiovascular disease; morbid obesity; and hepatic steatosis are significant contributing factors. The manner of death is classified as an accident.

Shortly following his death, Barry’s family said in a statement that Max died in Denver, but the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office confirmed Barry died in the Littleton area.

Barry’s family released an announcement saying Max had “suffered from an overdose and passed away.”

The entirety of the family’s statement follows:

“Early this morning, we received news that no parents should ever have to hear. Our son Max suffered from an overdose and passed away. We cannot begin to describe the pain and heartbreak that comes with losing our only child. Our son was a kind soul full of life and love for his family and friends.”Our family would greatly appreciate your thoughts and prayers, and would respectfully ask for privacy as we mourn the loss of our child and begin to understand a world without his laughter and love in our lives.”

Barry, 22, is survived by his parents, as well as grandparents Joyce Brody, Jan Mueller, and Ken Mueller.

His memorial service was held at the Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village.

The Barry family said it was a special place to them and was one of the places where their son spent a lot of time, making it the obvious location to celebrate his life.

Hundreds of people packed the auditorium. In the front row, the mayor and her husband listened as several people spoke about their son and what he meant to them.

Max Barry’s former Little League coach described him as someone who was always smiling, loved his family and friends and was always wearing tie-dye T-shirts.

Several of his friends also spoke at the service, including his best friend, musician John Prine.

Prine choked up, talking about his friend’s love for the outdoors and music. Prine said he feels like he lost a part of himself. “Whatever I’ve lost from losing Max, I will gain back with him by my side. Although in the physical plane, I may no longer have my brother next to me, but I have gained one of the most special things that I will have as long as I breathe. I’ve gained a guardian,” Prine said.

Bruce Barry surprised everyone when he got up to speak during the service.

He put on a baseball cap, which he said his son loved, and spoke about how important it was that he and his wife were open about the circumstances surrounding their son’s death. “The point I really want to make here is that the circumstances last Saturday in Denver tell the story of his death and not the story of his life,” he said.