Cause Of Elliott Smith's Death Still Unclear, Coroner Says; No Illegal Drugs Found

LAPD continuing to investigate death of singer/songwriter.

The circumstances surrounding Elliott Smith's death two months ago remain unclear.

A coroner's examination of Smith's body, the findings of which were released Tuesday, were inconclusive as to whether the two penetrating stab wounds that killed him were self-inflicted or the result of foul play, according to a Los Angeles County Department of Coroner spokesperson.

"Despite a comprehensive and ongoing inquiry into the death by the LAPD detectives and coroner investigators together with a thorough examination by the coroner's pathologist, the mode of death remains 'Undetermined' due to incomplete knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the death," read a press statement from the coroner.

The LAPD will continue its investigation.

The singer/songwriter, whose real name was Steven Paul Smith, died October 21 at the LAC/USC Medical Center after he was found in his Los Angeles apartment by his girlfriend. Early speculation was that Smith, who had long battled depression and drug addiction, had killed himself (see "Singer/Songwriter Elliott Smith Dead; Friends, Fellow Musicians Pay Tribute").

Toxicological tests revealed that Smith had no illegal drugs in his system at the time of his death. Non-abusive amounts of medications for depression and attention-deficit disorder were present.

This finding was in line with claims made by Smith's friends that he had been clean and sober in the months before his death.

Smith released five haunting and emotional albums between 1994 and 2000, and was nominated for an Oscar in 1997 for his song "Miss Misery," from the film "Good Will Hunting." He was nearly finished with his sixth album, tentatively titled From a Basement on a Hill, at the time of his death.

For more on Smith and his music, check out the feature "Elliott Smith: One Of Us Is On The Moon."