Autopsy Results Show Prince Died Of An Opioid Overdose, According To Officials

On Thursday, law enforcement revealed that Prince died of an opioid overdose, the Associated Press reports. The unexpected death of the star April 21 saddened his fans across the world, especially since the cause of death was unknown. The 57-year-old performer was found dead at his Minnesota home after canceling a few shows in early April because of the flu. He collapsed in an elevator and was unresponsive when paramedics reached him. The results of a four-hour autopsy by Minnesota Chief Medical Examiner Dr. A. Quinn Strobl and other tests led officials to believe he died of an overdose.

After an April 14 show in Atlanta, he reportedly took Percocet before boarding his private plane, nearly overdosing and forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing to get him medical attention. The painkiller was apparently for his hip pain, according to The New York Daily News, as he injured his hip dancing on stage for years. Because he was treated for a close call with opioids days before his death, there was immediately speculation that drugs played a role in his untimely death. The investigation into his death is still underway, and it’s unclear what medication he overdosed on and the details of what went wrong. The doctor prescribing drugs to the celeb, Dr Michael Todd Schulenberg, was questioned early on, and a search warrant claimed he treated Prince the day before he died.

Prince was reportedly supposed to meet with a doctor about potentially getting treatment for an addiction to painkillers. The medical director of California’s Recovery Without Walls outpatient addiction clinic, Dr. Howard Kornfeld, was called by the star’s representatives April 20 to say Prince was “dealing with a grave medical emergency,” the doctor’s attorney, William Mauzy, told The Star Tribune’s David Chanen. Kornfield sent his son, Andrew, who works with him to Minnesota to explain how the treatment would work. Mauzy said: “The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan… The doctor was planning on a lifesaving mission.”

Andrew showed up at Prince’s house to find him unconscious in the elevator and was the one to call 911. According to The Star Tribune, he was unfamiliar with the area and simply told the 911 dispatcher, “We’re at Prince’s house.”