Jackson Cause Of Death Awaits Toxicology Tests
June 26, 2009 at 6:20 PM (PT)
In a much-anticipated press conference, L.A. County Coroner Office Chief Of Operations CRAIG HARVEY didn't clear up any of the mystery surrounding the cause of death of MICHAEL JACKSON. After completing a three-hour autopsy, HARVEY would only say that the cause of death was deferred pending toxicology reports, which may take from four to six weeks.
HARVEY indicated there was no indication of "trauma or foul play," yet while acknowledging that JACKSON was taking prescription drugs, he wouldn't specify what the drugs were -- and refused to say if it was a factor in JACKSON's demise.
TMZ.COM and other media in the U.S. and BRITAIN have reported that sources inside the JACKSON circle allege that the singer died of an overdose of Demerol, an extremely strong pain killer, and that the LAPD was searching for the doctor who allegedly administered the drug. TMZ would later identify the physician as DR. CONRAD MURRAY and also posted the 911 call made to police at 12:21p YESTERDAY from JACKSON'S home in HOLMBY HILLS.
However, the LA TIMES reports that an LAPD official "on the MICHAEL JACKSON case says police so far have no information that JACKSON was injected with Demerol or other painkillers ... Claims that JACKSON collapsed after an injection of painkillers 'are coming from outside the investigation,' said Lt. GREGG STRENK, head of the LAPD's Homicide Special Section 1, which is assigned to the JacKSON case."
STRENK did confirm that the LAPD was searching for MURRAY, while TMZ reported that MURRAY is in LOS ANGELES and would cooperate with the authorities.
One TMZ report that sheds some light on JACKSON's medications, which has been picked up by CBS RADIO Talk KNX-A/LOS ANGELES, is documentation of a 2007 lawsuit against JACKSON for allegedly not paying a $101,926.66 pharmacy bill. MICKEY FINE PHARMACY in BEVERLY HILLS sued JACKSON, claiming he agreed to "pay the purchase price of any prescription medications filled."
"The case was dismissed a month after it was filed -- that typically means there was a settlement."
TMZ earlier reported that DR. LAKSHMANAN SATHYAVAGISWARAN performed the autopsy. SATHYAVAGISWARAN was a star witness in the O.J. SIMPSON case.