Radiating his trademark warmth and modesty, this is the exclusive final photo of ‘America’s dad’ Bob Saget – taken minutes before he retired to his Florida hotel suite and died in a freak fall.
Revealed for the first time by DailyMail.com, Full House legend Saget appears uninjured and in perfect health in the haunting selfie taken by a valet who parked his rental car at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes.
Cops used the image to determine that the 65-year-old actor suffered fatal head injuries after he arrived at the glitzy golf resort in the early hours of January 9 – and not before.
‘The photo is a clear shot of Mr. Saget’s face with his glasses on. There is no evidence of injury or of the bruising near his left eye that was evident post-mortem,’ detectives say in a final report released Tuesday that concludes his death was a tragic accident.
Valet worker Orlando Nunez, 21, who took the selfie with Saget, told DailyMail.com in an exclsuive interview, ‘I didn’t see any injuries, he didn’t seem hurt, he wasn’t slurring his words – he was exactly as I remembered while watching him on the TV as a child. I was in awe.’
Revealed for the first time by DailyMail.com, Bob Saget is seen healthy and smiling in a selfie taken by a hotel valet who parked his rental car at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grand Lakes. Investigators used the photo to determine he suffered a head injury after he arrived at the hotel. Valet worker Orlando Nunez, 21, told DailyMail.com in an exclsuive interview, ‘I didn’t see any injuries, he didn’t seem hurt, he wasn’t slurring his words – he was exactly as I remembered while watching him on the TV as a child. I was in awe.’
Hours before he was found dead in his hotel, Saget had shared a selfie on Instagram following his performance at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall in Jacksonville on January 8
Saget had driven himself back from a stand-up gig two hours away in Jacksonville before handing over the keys to his Chevrolet Impala and walking into the Ritz-Carlton Orlando (pictured) at 2:13am
Investigators from the Orange County Sheriff’s Department never determined exactly how Saget severely fractured his skull but they suggest he slipped and struck his head on either a carpeted floor or the padded headboard of his bed.
‘Our purpose was to locate specific places or items in the room that could have caused the trauma found on autopsy,’ their report states.
‘The countertops, tables, nightstands, and other hard furniture in the room all had sharply defined edges and corners and were thought to be unlikely due to the fact that they would have lacerated the skin.
‘The counters in the bathroom and the shower stall were ruled out for the same reason. Most of the chairs and layers were thickly upholstered and were too soft to have caused the type and extent of injury Mr. Saget suffered.
‘As mentioned earlier, most of the suite was carpeted. The headboard of the bed was lightly padded and set slightly out from the wall.
‘These are listed here as possible mechanisms of injury, but nothing was located in the room that allows for a definitive conclusion.’
This diagram shows all the injuries sustained by Saget, resulting in his death from a brain bleed
Authorities initially claimed that Saget hit his head against the headboard, but experts said his injuries were severe enough to have resulted from being bashed with a baseball bat
This photo shows the white marble floor inside one of them rooms at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando Grande, where Saget was found dead on January 9
Saget had driven himself back from a stand-up gig two hours away in Jacksonville before handing over the keys to his Chevrolet Impala and walking into the Ritz-Carlton at 2:13am.
The father-of-three was then seen on CCTV walking ‘purposely across the lobby’ before entering his room at 2:17am.
When he failed to check out later that day security let themselves into his plush suite at 3:53pm and found Saget slumped dead in his bed with swelling and small bruises in the corner of his left eye.
The door to room 962 was latched from the inside and there was no sign of struggle, nothing was damaged and no trace of blood on his sheets or bedding, the report adds.
Unusually, the internal door to the adjoining room, 961, was found unlocked but staff established that nobody had been inside it while Saget was there.
Stunned valet worker Nunez said Saget had warned him during their early-hours interaction that he was recovering from a bout of Covid but he didn’t see signs of ill-health.
Saget is pictured with his wife Kelly Rizzo (right) and daughter Lara (left) in June 2021
Saget’s widow, Kelly Rizzo (pictured), and his three daughters have filed a lawsuit seeking to block the release of any records from the medical examiner’s office related to his death
‘He had a mask on at that point so I had no idea who it was. I said it’s fine to take it off because I’ve had Covid twice myself,’ Nunez told DailyMail.com.
‘I recognized the voice but it was only when he took it off that I was like, oh man it’s Bob Saget, it’s so nice to meet you.
Nunez said the two men chatted warmly for several minutes about the pandemic, their families and their home state of California before they huddled for a photo on his cell phone.
‘He said he’d just driven back from Jacksonville but he didn’t seem tired at all, it was like he had just stepped off stage,’ Nunez went on.
‘We talked about Covid and he made a joke about how there are so many strains now they are giving them sorority names.
‘If anything I was very cautious about the picture as I wanted to be polite and respectful. But he said “get in here, c’mon.”
Saget’s death was ruled an accident but Orange County investigators were not able to determine exactly how he severely fractured his skull
A private funeral was held for the entertainer in Los Angeles on January 14
‘I’ve met a few celebrities who barely say a word but Bob was the most genuine, approachable guy. When I heard what had happened the next day I was devastated.
‘People keep asking questions about what happened, but I don’t think there is a bigger picture that we are all missing. I just want him to rest in peace.’
Saget’s death stunned his global community of fans and baffled his distraught wife Kelly Rizzo who said her husband was the happiest he had ever been and was in great health.
An autopsy confirmed his Covid diagnosis but Orange County medical examiner, Dr. Joshua Stephany, determined that it played no part in his sudden demise.
Experts also ruled out drugs or alcohol as the cause, attributing the beloved funnyman’s death to ‘blunt force injuries to the head’, including various abrasions to the scalp and fractures to the base of the skull.
‘In consideration of the circumstances surrounding the death, and after examination of the body, toxicology analysis, microscopic analysis, respiratory pathogen panel testing, bilateral lung cultures, and postmortem CT, it is my opinion that the death of Robert Saget, a 65- year-old white male found unresponsive in a hotel room, is the result of blunt head trauma,’ Dr. Stephany concluded.
‘It is most probable that the deceased suffered an unwitnessed fall backwards and struck the posterior of his head. The manner of death is an accident.’
Saget is seen with his three daughters in 2008 – from left: Aubrey, Lara and Jennifer
Saget is seen as single dad Danny Tanner in a promotional photo for ABC hit sitcom Full House in September of 1993
Saget was on the road for his ‘I Don’t Do Negative Comedy Tour’ tour when he passed.
Investigators spoke to several people involved in the previous night’s gig at the Ponte Vedra Beach resort, outside of Jacksonville, but none of them recalled him acting strangely, taking drugs or drinking.
Hertz confirmed his car was undamaged when it was collected from the Ritz-Carlton.
A judge agreed Monday to make permanent a court order prohibiting the release of graphic photos and videos relating to Saget’s death after his family filed a lawsuit to prevent them appearing in news articles and circulating online.