Scott Sterling case: Investigators await autopsy, toxicology results


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Although L.A. County Sheriff’s Department officials said preliminary evidence suggests that Scott Sterling, the 32-year-old son of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, died of a drug overdose, detectives are waiting for autopsy and toxicology results that will determine the official cause of death.

Officials said that they did not know what kind of drugs were involved and whether Sterling was taking any prescription medications at the time of his death. It was also unclear whether Sterling’s diabetic condition -- revealed by his family in a statement Wednesday -- played a role in his death.


‘All questions will be answered when the coroner does its autopsy and the toxicology tests come back,’ Sheriff’s Department spokesman Steve Whitmore said.

The coroner’s office said early Thursday that the day’s autopsy schedule had yet to be determined; it was unclear when Sterling’s body would be examined.

Homicide detectives were called to Sterling’s apartment complex in the 22600 block of Pacific Coast Highway about 11:30 p.m. Tuesday and they found him dead on a couch in one of the apartments, officials said. He had not been seen by family and friends for at least two days, they said.

There were no signs of foul play, officials said.

The Sterling family released a statement Wednesday afternoon saying that Scott Sterling was suffering from diabetes.

‘Our son Scott has fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 Diabetes,’ the statement read. ‘His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him. We sincerely appreciate the warm outpouring of sympathy and support from so many of our dear friends.’

Despite being the son of one of the Southland’s most famous real estate moguls, Sterling kept a low profile. Few details about his personal life or employment were available Wednesday.


Sterling was arrested in 1999 in Beverly Hills in connection with the shooting of childhood friend Philip Scheid, but he was never charged in the case.

At the time of his death, Sterling was living in the Malibu Beach Villas complex. The property is owned by the Donald T. Sterling Trust, according to property records. Units there are advertised as being ‘ultra luxurious.’

One man at the complex Wednesday held a spotted, white hound dog at the end of a leash. The animal belonged to Sterling, he said. The man, who would not give his name, described Sterling as ‘intelligent and kind.’

Another neighbor, who also declined to be identified, described Sterling as a ‘nice guy’ who would wave and say hello when they crossed paths.

‘It’s a sad day here,’ the resident said. ‘We’re all still in shock.’


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Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies stand outside a Malibu apartment building where Scott Sterling lived. Credit: Nick Ut / Associated Press