Wrestling star Chyna died from mix of alcohol and drugs, autopsy report finds
An autopsy of wrestling star Chyna revealed she died of a lethal combination of muscle relaxers, painkillers and alcohol this spring, according to a coroner’s report.
Toxicology tests indicated that Chyna, whose real name was Joan Marie Laurer, had taken a mix of alcohol and diazepam, which is marketed as Valium; nordazepam; oxycodone; oxymorphone; and temazepam, a medication used to treat insomnia, according to a Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner report.
Chyna’s mother told investigators her daughter was an “alcoholic and drank cheap wine, and she was addicted to prescription medication,” according to the report. The 46-year-old had a medical history of drug abuse.
The former World Wrestling Entertainment star was found by her manager on April 20 lying in bed in her Redondo Beach home, next to her cellphone, iPad, clothes, pillows and toys, the autopsy report said. Her manager, Anthony Anzaldo, hadn’t heard from her since she last tweeted on April 17 and decided to check on her.
Redondo Beach police had reported Chyna’s death as a possible accidental overdose or natural death.
When Chyna was found in bed, a pool of blood and foam that came from her nose and mouth was on the pillow under her face. Decomposition, according to the coroner’s report, had just started to set in.
She was lying on her right side, and her head rested on a stack of pillows. She wore a black tank top and a pair of multicolored, patterned pants, according to the report.
Inside her bedroom, investigators found multiple bottles of prescription medications, a metal pipe resembling a cigarette, a green plastic grinder, a small wooden box and a blue glass pipe on top of a nightstand, according to the autopsy report. In a bottom drawer of the same nightstand, investigators found a blister pack of pills inside an envelope. Another pack of pills, which was empty, was found near the nightstand.
Loose pills were found on the floor of her bedroom and on a dining table.
Days before her body was found, Chyna had posted a rambling and sometimes incoherent video on YouTube. She also posted a smiling selfie April 17 on her Instagram account that appeared to have been taken in her bedroom.
“Happy Sunday my lovelies I hope you all enjoy your day with your family,” she wrote. “Be Happy, Love each other, and Live in Peace!
Anzaldo told The Times that Chyna had been taking the legally prescribed pills over the course of three weeks, but wasn’t using them properly, he said. Her death was the result of an accidental overdose, Anzaldo insisted, not suicide.
According to Anzaldo, Dr. Bennet Omalu, a Nigerian-born forensic pathologist and expert on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, was planning to examine Chyna’s brain.
He said the doctor’s findings could help provide insight on a link between the degenerative brain disease and sports athletes whose heads repeatedly are exposed to blunt force trauma.
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1 p.m.: This article was updated with additional details about Chyna’s death.
This article was originally published at 12:25 p.m.
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