The Los Angeles County Coroner's office announced the official cause of death in the
According to TMZ, the coroner's statement also says that another condition contributing to Jackson's death was "Benzodiazepine effect." The latter refers to a group of tranquilizers such as Valium, Xanax and Versed that are used to treat anxiety and insomnia.
The manner of death is ruled as a homicide, and the report notes that the surgical anesthetic propofol and the tranquilizer Ativan were found to be the "primary drugs responsible for Mr. Jackson's death." Among the other drugs detected in his system were: Midazolam (Versed), Diazepam (Valium), Lidocaine (topical anesthetic) and Ephedrine (used to treat hypotension associated with anesthesia).
In a statement released shortly after the coroner's announcement, the Jackson family said through a spokesperson: "The Jackson family again wishes to commend the actions of the Coroner, the LAPD and other law enforcement agencies, and looks forward to the day that justice can be served."
The homicide ruling is tied to the coroner's determination that a fatal combination of drugs was given to Jackson in the hours before his death. No charges have been filed in the case to date, but Jackson's personal physician, cardiologist Dr. Conrad Murray, is reportedly the focus of a manslaughter investigation. A recently unsealed search warrant revealed that Murray told investigators he gave Jackson a series of injections of the drugs listed in Friday's release in the hours before the singer's death.
[This story was originally published on 8.28.09 at 3:25 p.m. ET]