Whitney Houston autopsy report paints detailed picture of scene
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The scene of Whitney Houston’s death got a lot clearer Wednesday with the release of a full autopsy report describing her body, found face-down in the water, and the hotel room, where authorities found a ‘white powdery substance,’ a rolled-up piece of paper, and a spoon and a mirror with that substance on them.
Though Houston’s body was face-up when authorities arrived, interviews with those present at the scene revealed she’d been face down in the tub, which had been filled about a foot deep with hot water.
A survey of abrasions on the body includes one on the left side of her forehead with an underlying bruise and a small, ‘very superficial’ cut on her upper lip, both having occurred while she was alive.
The body was in the bath water for up to an hour, according to a time line determined by police.
The report also describes a ‘perforation of the posterior nasal septum’ -- in other words, a hole in her nose that can occur with long-term cocaine use -- and ‘bloody purge’ coming from her nose.
In late March, the L.A. County coroner released a ruling of Houston’s death as accidental, with cause listed as drowning due to ‘the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use.’
According to the report, on a bathroom counter police found ‘a small spoon with a white crystal-like substance in it and a rolled-up piece of white paper, along with other miscellaneous items,’ and in a bathroom drawer they found ‘remnants of a white powdery substance, and a portable mirror on a base. On the bottom of that base were more remnants of a white powdery substance.’
Cocaine, marijuana, dephendydramine (Benadryl), alprazolam (Xanax) and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) were found in her system, and an empty Xanax bottle is listed on the report among the medication-related items found in the room.
Beverly Hills police told L.A. Now on Wednesday that they would finalize their investigation after reviewing the coroner’s report and taking any appropriate action.