Jackson death unsolved after autopsy

Additional testing on toxicology and other studies ordered; foul play ruled out

Jackson death unsolved after autopsy

Jackson was in full cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived at his rented mansion in the Holmby Hills neighbourhood of Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon, with his personal physician trying desperately to revive him.

The 50-year-old pop superstar was rushed to nearby UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead without regaining consciousness.

“The cause of death (determination) has been deferred, which means that the medical examiner has ordered additional testing such as toxicology and other studies,” Los Angeles County Coroner’s spokesman Craig Harvey said. “Those tests we anticipate will take an additional four to six weeks.”

Speaking to a throng of reporters outside the coroner’s office, Harvey said: “There was no indication of any external trauma or indication of foul play to the body of  Jackson.”
Police said they were seeking to question Jackson’s personal physician, identified by news media as Houston-based cardiologist Conrad Murray. Jackson’s body was moved to a mortuary at the family’s request on Friday night, assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said. He did not disclose the location and there was no immediate word on when Jackson would be laid to rest.

Celebrity website TMZ.com, citing an interview with an unidentified  ‘close member’ of the Jackson family, reported the entertainer was injected with Demerol about half an hour before he went into cardiac arrest.

TMZ, citing family members, said Jackson received a daily shot of Demerol, a narcotic painkiller, and that the family believed his death was caused by an overdose of the drug. Detectives searched Jackson’s home and impounded Murray’s Mercedes from the driveway, saying it might contain evidence.

Unidentified call

An unidentified man called a 911 emergency phone line from the mansion at 12:21 pm, local time, saying Jackson was unconscious and not breathing.

In excerpts from the call released by authorities, the caller said the physician was the only other person present and was frantically performing cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the unconscious Jackson without results. “He’s pumping, he’s pumping his chest but he’s not responding to anything, sir, please,” the man said. A senior law enforcement official told ABC News that Jackson was “heavily addicted” to painkiller Oxycontin and was injected daily with it, along with Demerol.

Lawyer Brian Oxman, a Jackson family spokesman, told CBS’ ‘The Early Show’ he had been concerned about the prescription drugs Jackson took due to injuries suffered while performing. “I do not want to point fingers at anyone because I want to hear what the toxicology report says and the coroner says but the plain fact of the matter is that Michael Jackson had prescription drugs at his disposal at all times,” Oxman said.

Fans and fellow pop stars revived memories of Jackson’s musical genius, albeit tarnished by accusations.


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