Joel Taylor's Apparent Overdose Triggers FBI Investigation

The news of professional storm chaser Joel Taylor's death due to a suspected drug overdose has triggered an FBI investigation.

According to TMZ, the FBI is investigating the circumstances of Taylor's death and how the drugs, including GHB, cocaine, and ecstasy, got on board the ship and who may have supplied them.

The news comes after it was reported Wednesday that the former cast member of the Discovery Channel's reality TV series Storm Chasers was aboard a cruise ship at the time of his death. Taylor, 38, had reportedly been on a week-long voyage aboard the Royal Caribbean ship Harmony of the Seas, which had departed from Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, Jan. 20. Taylor's death occurred on Monday, Jan. 22, while the cruise ship was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Police stated that a drug overdose is suspected to have caused his death after it was reported that Taylor had consumed GHB during a party aboard the ship. A passenger who interacted with Taylor said that the 38-year-old had eventually fallen into unconsciousness and was taken off the dance floor by two people and back to his room. Passengers also reported that drugs had been flowing freely aboard the ship at the time of Taylor's death.

News of Taylor's passing was announced Tuesday on Twitter by Taylor's friend and former cast member, Reed Timmer.

"RIP my best friend and storm chasing partner, Joel Taylor. I am shocked and absolutely devastated by the loss of my incredible, caring friend. We chased so many intense storms, and I wish we could have just one more storm chase. I'll miss you forever, Joel. We lost a legend," Timmer tweeted along with a series of photos of the pair while storm chasing.

Friends and fans of the storm chaser were shocked to learn of his passing and took to social media to remember Taylor.


The Elk City, Oklahoma native appeared on the Discovery Channel series from 2008 up until its cancellation in 2012. The series was filmed annually in the area known as Tornado Alley, where meteorologists could study the most frequent and severe storms and tornadoes in the central part of the country.