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Coroner postpones ruling in cause of death of wrestling star Chyna

The Los Angeles County coroner's office is investigating the death of former pro wrestler Chyna, shown in 2003. It could be months before toxicology test results determine the cause of death.

The Los Angeles County coroner’s office is investigating the death of former pro wrestler Chyna, shown in 2003. It could be months before toxicology test results determine the cause of death.

(Kevork Djansezian / Associated Press)

The Los Angeles County Coroner’s office has deferred a ruling in the cause of death of the wrestling star known as Chyna, who was found dead in her Redondo Beach home Wednesday.

On its website, the coroner’s office reported that the cause was deferred, pending additional investigation.

Redondo Beach police said officers found Chyna, whose real name was Joan Marie Laurer, dead on her bed, after receiving a call from her friend about a woman not breathing. The friend told police that Chyna had not answered her phone in a few days.

Initially, police reported the death as a “possible overdose or natural death,” said Ed Winter, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office. However, the coroner’s office said it will be months before toxicology test results can determine whether she died of an overdose.

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There were no signs of foul play, police said.

Chyna was a star in World Wrestling Entertainment, starting in the mid-1990s. She was a member of a wrestling squad that called itself “D-Generation X” and often wrestled against men. At one point, she was the WWE women’s champion.

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She also acted, in adult entertainment and mainstream films. She appeared on VH1’s “Celebrity Rehab With Dr. Drew” in 2008, where she talked about her alcohol and substance abuse.

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brittny.mejia@latimes.com

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