UPDATE: Prince died from a “self-administered fentanyl” overdose, according to the autopsy report released by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office on June 2. His death was ruled an accident.
Prince died in his home on Thursday at the age of 57. He was discovered inside his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota. An autopsy was conducted on April 22, the results of which were released by the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office on June 2. The Carver County Sheriff’s Department, with the assistance of Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, are continuing their investigation into the singer’s death.
Here’s what you need to know.
Autopsy Results Showed Prince Died from ‘Fentanyl Toxicity’
The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office released the results of Prince’s autopsy on June 2. Dr. A. Quinn Stobl, the Chief Medical Examiner of the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, conducted the autopsy at 9 a.m. on April 22 and concluded the exam at 1 p.m.
Stobl ruled Prince’s death an accident caused by “fentanyl toxicity.” The report also showed the singer “self-administered fentanyl,” which is a synthetic opioid, 50 times more potent than heroin, according to The Associated Press.
Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson said in his press conference on April 22 that there was “no reason to believe” Prince’s death was a suicide. The medical examiner’s investigation took into account everything from the physical autopsy to Prince’s medical and social history as well as his family medical history.
Police Found Prince Unresponsive in an Elevator
Deputies from the Carver County Sheriff’s Department responded to a medical call at Paisley Park at 9:43 a.m. They found Prince unresponsive in an elevator on the first floor of the residence and performed CPR, but they were unable to revive him. He was pronounced dead on the scene at 10:07 a.m.
The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office was called to the scene at 10:12 a.m. on Thursday. They arrived on the scene at 11:30 a.m.
Sheriff Jim Olson said in a press conference on Friday, April 22 that Prince was last seen the night before, Wednesday, at 8 p.m. An acquaintance had dropped him off at his house. The sheriff did not specify who that person was or where they were coming from.
The date of Prince’s death was determined as Thursday, April 21, but an exact time of death was not given. His death went unwitnessed. Staff members of Paisley Park had been unable to contact Prince on Thursday morning, so they went to check on him. They found him unresponsive and called 911.
Olson said Prince was found dressed, wearing a shirt and pants. The autopsy report specified here was wearing a black cap, black shirt, grey undershirt, black pants, black boxer briefs and black socks at the time of his death.
Three people were at the residence when deputies arrived. They cleared the residence, following standard procedure, and found no other people inside. He and the other responders also saw no obvious signs of trauma on the body.
The investigators finished processing the scene of Prince’s death on April 21 and released Paisley Park back to his representatives.
Read a transcript of the 911 call below:
Paisley Park is located in Chanhassen, Minnesota, just outside of Minneapolis. It served as Prince’s main residence as well as his recording studios and a place he frequently threw parties and performances. Sheriff Olson said Paisley Park wasn’t his only resident in Chanhassen.
Authorities Found Painkillers in Prince’s Possession; TMZ Reported He Overdosed on Opiates the Week Before His Death
Federal authorities, including the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) joined the Carver County Sheriff’s Office in their investigation in early May, according to the AP. Authorities found painkillers in Prince’s possession and the DEA would determine where the drugs came from and what prescriptions Prince obtained, according to ABC News. It’s normal for the DEA to check into those records in a death investigation.
Prince had visited a Twin Cities hospital on Wednesday, April 20, according to KSTP-TV in Minneapolis. He was seen by a doctor and released the same day, returning home to Paisley Park.
Contrary to this report, Olson said during the press conference that there had been no emergency calls from Paisley Park involving Prince directly in the past year.
Prince was spotted leaving his local Walgreens later that evening. Eyewitnesses told TMZ that he shopped at the store for years, but Wednesday night he “looked much more frail and nervous than usual.”
The pop legend had been sick the past few weeks, battling the flu. His illness caused him to cancel a couple shows on April 7, but he pushed through to perform at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta on April 15. Following the concert, his private jet made an emergency stop in Moline, Illinois to rush Prince to the hospital. He was released three hours after his admittance.
TMZ is reporting that Prince was actually treated for a drug overdose during the emergency hospitalization last week in Illinois.
According to the TMZ report, Prince was given a “save shot” to reverse the effects of opiates in his system at the airport before he was transported to the hospital. Narcan, or naloxone, is a life-saving shot that serves as an antidote for opiate overdose.
Prince Needed a Double-Hip Replacement; He Had a Scar on His Left Hip
Prince also struggled with hip problems for over a decade, caused by dancing in high-heeled boots on stage for years. He needed a double-hip replacement, but his faith as a Jehovah’s Witness prevented him from having a blood transfusion, which made surgery near impossible.
The autopsy results showed he had a scar on his left hip and another scar on his right lower leg. The report did not specify what was the cause of the scars.
He was sometimes seen using a cane at events like the 2013 Grammys and the 75th Anniversary for the Apollo Theater in 2009, but he had also used it as a fashion accessory since the early ’90s.
Prince became a Jehovah’s Witness in 2001 and has adhered to the Christian sect’s beliefs, some of which keep a Witness from undergoing modern medical treatments.
He Threw a Party 4 Days Before His Death to Show Everyone He Was Fine
A few days after he returned home from Atlanta and his quick health scare in Illinois, Prince decided to throw a party on the Paisley Park grounds on Saturday night. He announced the concert late Saturday morning via Twitter and only charged $10 for admission.
He appeared on stage shortly after midnight, about two hours into the dance party, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. He didn’t perform much but he did play “Chopsticks” and a “brief instrumental passage with a classical flourish” on his new purple Yamaha piano. He also showed off a new purple metallic guitar during his less than five-minute appearance.
That same night, he celebrated National Record Store Day with a trip to Electric Fetus music store in Minneapolis. He picked up a handful of CDs including Stevie Wonder’s Talking Book.