PHOENIX, May 27 – Former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson's four-year-old daughter died Tuesday, a day after accidentally catching her neck in a cord on a treadmill at her home, police said.
"I was just advised by investigators that Exodus Tyson was pronounced deceased at 11:45 am today at the hospital," Phoenix police spokesman Andy Hill said. "Our sympathies go out to the family."
Exodus Tyson had been hospitalized on life support since Monday, when she was found with her neck wrapped in a cable of the exercise machine by her seven-year-old brother.
The boy summoned his 34-year-old mother from another room, and the woman freed the girl, called an ambulance and tried to revive her.
Tyson, who doesn’t live in the modest Phoenix house where the accident occurred, arrived Monday afternoon from Las Vegas and was filmed by television news cameras entering the hospital where Exodus was being treated.
"We are grateful for the tremendous outpouring of love and prayers from all over the world," the family said in a statement.
"There are no words to describe the tragic loss of our beloved Exodus. We ask you now to please respect our need at this very difficult time for privacy to grieve and try to help each other heal."
Hill said Monday that the police investigation of the scene indicated a "tragic accident."
"Somehow she was playing on this treadmill, and there’s a cord that hangs under the console – it’s kind of a loop," Hill said.
"Either she slipped or put her head in the loop, but it acted like a noose, and she was obviously unable to get herself off of it."
Tyson, 42, had been in the news this month with the US release of the film "Tyson", a documentary directed by James Toback that premiered at the Cannes Film Festival last year.
It offers an engrossing portrayal of the turbulent life of Tyson, from his humble beginnings on the mean streets of Brooklyn to his phenomenal rise as the youngest heavyweight world champion in history, through his epic fall marked by addiction, humiliation in the ring and a rape conviction.
Tyson exploded on the boxing scene in the mid-1980s, becoming the youngest heavyweight champion in history in 1986 at the age of 20.
Considered unbeatable for the rest of the decade, Tyson’s career went off the rails when he suffered a shock upset to James "Buster" Douglas in 1990.
In 1992, Tyson was convicted of raping a beauty queen at a pageant in Indianapolis, Indiana. He served three years of a six-year sentence and was released in 1995 – and has always denied raping the woman.
"Iron Mike" reclaimed the heavyweight throne but lost to Evander Holyfield in 1996 and notoriously bit Holyfield’s ears twice in a 1997 rematch, adding banishment to his ridicule.
Tyson was jailed again in 1999 for assaulting two people following a traffic accident.
One final chance to recapture the heavyweight crown in 2002 resulted in an eighth-round knockout at the hands of Britain’s Lennox Lewis.
Tyson filed for bankruptcy in 2003 and retired after losses to Britain’s Danny Williams in 2004 and American Kevin McBride in 2005.
Tyson, who has been married twice and has six children with several women, was sentenced in 2007 to 24 hours in jail and three years of probation after pleading guilty to charges of drug possession and driving under the influence in Arizona.
While Tyson’s tumultuous personal life and sometimes outrageous behavior overshadowed the later stages of his career, filmmaker Toback says Tyson occupies a unique place in ring history.
"There are certain people in various fields, they just become the representative, iconic figure of that profession," Toback says. "To me as a boxer, as a fighter, it’s Mike Tyson."