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Friday, July 31, 2009
What Killed Michael Jackson ?
By Dan Whitcomb and Laura Isensee
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Doctors completed an autopsy on the body of Michael Jackson on Friday but said they could not immediately establish a cause of death for the "King of Pop" as speculation centered on his use of prescription painkillers.
"The cause of death 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 Mr. Jackson."
He said his office expected to determine what killed Jackson, 50, when the tests were complete.
The body would be released to family members after they chose a mortuary to handle the funeral arrangements, Harvey added.
Celebrity website TMZ.com, citing an interview with an unidentified "close member" of the Jackson family, reported the superstar singer was injected with Demerol about half an hour before he went into cardiac arrest.
'HE'S NOT RESPONDING'
Police searched Jackson's rented mansion in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles and planned to interview his personal physician, who was with the entertainer at the time of his death.
TMZ, citing family members, said Jackson received a daily injection of Demerol, a narcotic painkiller. The family believes his death was caused by an overdose of the drug, TMZ reported.
An unidentified man called a 911 emergency phone line from the mansion at 12:21 p.m. local time, saying Jackson was unconscious and not breathing.
In excerpts from the call played on television, the man said the doctor was the only other person present and was 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 caller said.
A senior law enforcement official told ABC News that Jackson was "heavily addicted" to the painkiller Oxycontin and was injected daily with that medication, 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.
Labels: Michael Jackson