The gory details of Whitney Houston’s death have been released.
Whitney Houston was found by an assistant “lying face down in the bathtub filled with extremely hot water and there was a scald burn on her back.” in the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the day she died according to the FINAL autopsy report released Wednesday.
Houston was submerged in bathwater for nearly an hour before a personal assistant found her dead.
The fresh report provided new details on the death of the 48-year-old singer who died of a combination of heart trouble and cocaine ingestion, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office said in a 41-page final report.
Early on, authorities suspected that some combination of narcotic substances, prescription medications and alcohol played a role in Houston’s death.
Houston was last seen alive by her personal assistant Feb. 11 between 2:35 p.m. and 3 p.m., the report stated.
Houston had complained of having a lingering sore throat in the days leading up to her death. Before the assistant left, she told Houston to “take a bath to start getting ready for tonight,” referring to a pre-Grammy party thrown by her mentor, producer Clive Davis.
The personal assistant then left to pick up items at Neiman Marcus and returned to the locked hotel room at 3:36 p.m. When she went into the bathroom, she found Houston face-down and unresponsive in the tub, the report stated.
She called out to a bodyguard, the report stated, and they pulled Houston out of the bathtub. The assistant then ran to call the front desk and told them to call 911.
When paramedics arrived about 10 minutes later they moved Houston to the living room floor.
It was at 3:55 p.m., 20 minutes after she was found by the assistant, that paramedics concluded she was dead, the report said.
Investigators found a white, crystalline substance and spoon with residue in the Beverly Hills hotel room where Whitney Houston died in February, the report said.
Also there was an open bottle of champagne in the bedroom, as well as a dozen prescription bottles, including three empty bottles of alprazolam (Xanax), the antiinflammatory Prednisone and antibiotics. But officials have said the amounts of drugs did not seem unusually large.
On a bathroom counter were “a small spoon with a white, crystal-like substance in it and a rolled-up piece of white paper, along with other miscellaneous items,” it said.
In a nearby drawer were “remnants of a white powdery substance and a portable mirror on a base and on the bottom of that base were more remnants of a white, powdery substance.”
Kristy McCracken of the Beverly Hills Police Department also noted in her final report a “bloody purge” coming out of Houston’s nose, as well as minor abrasions on her face, arms and legs. McCracken also spotted a possible old needle puncture wound on Houston’s inner left elbow, she wrote.
Houston had battled drug addiction for years, and the coroner’s office found traces of several drugs — including marijuana, the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril as well as Benadryl — in her system.
But the coroner’s office concluded in March in a preliminary report that those drugs did not contribute to her death. Cocaine did play a role, though officials would not say how much of the drug was in her system.
They also detected mild emphysema, pulmonary edema and leiomyomas (benign tumors) in her uterus.
Her overall body was clinically described as “well built, muscular and fairly well nourished.”
Craig Harvey, the coroner’s operations chief, said the toxicology findings “suggested chronic usage.” “She could have had a heart attack,” rendering her unconscious, and then become submerged in the filled tub, said Ed Winter, the coroner’s deputy chief for operations.
A law enforcement source said that no cocaine was found in Houston’s room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel but that bottles of various medications were recovered. The autopsy found that the singer suffered from a pre-existing condition known as atherosclerotic heart disease.
David Campbell, a retired captain for the coroner’s office, said the disease is often linked to blockages of blood flow to the heart. Use of cocaine and other narcotics would intensify the dangers, he said. Cocaine can constrict blood vessels and reduce blood flow, he said.
Last May, Houston’s spokeswoman said the singer was going back into rehab.
Houston was laid to rest in New Jersey on Feb. 19.
Houston won 6 Grammys and sold 170 million albums, singles and videos over her career.