WWE.com has confirmed (in its usual callous "He didn't work for us anymore! Our hands are clean!" manner) reports that Lance McNaught, better known as Lance Cade, has passed away at the age of 29. No further details are available yet, but he had a history of drug problems. While in the midst of a big push, he was released from WWE in October 2008 after he had a drug-induced seizure on an airplane. He was re-signed a year later and sent to Florida Championship Wrestling, but his problems weren't close to gone. From Dave Meltzer's account of an interview Cade gave not long after being fired again in April:
He said in mid-December, John Laurinaitis told him they were going to bring him to the main roster, possibly for ECW, but he was having problems going through pain killer withdrawal, and it was keeping him awake. He said that led to getting hooked on sleeping pills, so he called the office and asked to be put into rehab. He went into and completed his rehab. He said in early March, Michaels told him he was done and would never be used as a top guy. He complained it was contradictory to fire him because he asked to get help for a sleeping pill problem and that his injuries that led to his pill problems stemmed from working in WWE. He was upset saying that most guys let their problems worsen for fear of losing their spot, but he tried to help himself, and was fired for it.
Our condolences go out to his friends and family.
Update #1: WWE.com is saying that the cause of death, according to Cade's father, is "heart failure," which in this context, is presumably being (incorrectly, as it often is) used as a euphemism for cardiac arrest. As was pointed out last year when Michael Jackson died, cardiac arrest when the heart stops and is essentially the death, not the cause of it like drug intoxication, heart disease, etc. would be. When someone says they were "clinically dead" for a few minutes, they're referring to cardiac arrest.
Update #2: From F4WOnline.com:
McNaught's wife Tanya noticed over the past week that he didn't look healthy and seemed to be having trouble breathing and called an ambulance to rush him to the hospital on Tuesday night. He passed out at one point but was revived in the hospital. Lance asked to be released on Wednesday, and after he got home, left and didn't come back.
On Thursday, his father, Harley McNaught, said Lance showed up at his work and he was not looking good. Harley brought him to his father's home in San Antonio and was discovered having passed away late last night.
His wife believed he had not been drinking.
A storyline idea involving his return was proposed in September and he was signed again. While he was at home waiting to start on the main roster, a WWE official spoke with him in a phone call in January and was concerned about his lack of coherence in the coversation. At that time, he asked WWE officials to send him to rehab and completed a 30-day rehab program in February. After completing the program, the storyline idea ended up being nixed and he was released in April.
While McNaught was initially upset about his 2008 release, saying others had done worse and not lost their jobs, he eventually came to grips with it in a Pro Wrestling Torch interview where he said he only had himself to blame.
McNaught had two daughters and a stepson.
The details are vague enough that I'm not really sure what to think.