Although the official cause of Whitney Houston’s death was recently announced as accidental drowning, the L.A. County coroner released its final report Wednesday (April 4) that provides new details about Houston’s condition when authorities arrived on the scene at the Beverly Hilton on February 11.
When Houston’s assistant returned to the hotel room after running an errand, the singer was face down in the bathtub in 13 inches of “extremely hot” water, which caused a burn on Houston’s back. When police arrived on the scene, they found an open bottle of champagne, bottles of prescription drugs and loose pills scattered about the room. In the bathroom, they found an ashtray with several cigarette butts and a small spoon with a “white crystal like substance in it and a rolled up piece of white paper.” The report also states that the white substance was found on a small mirror.
Kristy McCracken of the Beverly Hills Police Department wrote in her final report that she reasoned Houston “possibly overdosed on a narcotic substance, prescription medications, over the counter medications and alcohol” and noted a “bloody purge” coming out of Houston’s nose, as well as minor abrasions on her face, arms and legs.
Aside from the traces of cocaine, Benadryl, the muscle relaxer Flexeril, marijuana and Xanax found in the toxicology screening, the report cited Houston’s body as being “well built, muscular and fairly well nourished.”
The man who performed the autopsy, Dr. Christopher Rogers, chief of the coroner’s Forensic Medicine Division, and chief medical examiner-coroner Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran wrote that Houston’s drowning was due to the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use. They also detected mild emphysema, pulmonary edema and leiomyomas (benign tumors) in her uterus.
Houston was laid to rest in her hometown of Newark, New Jersey, on February 19.