Friday, June 2, 2017

Soundgarden: Chris Cornell toxicology reports released

Toxicology reports on the late Chris Cornell indicate the singer had several prescription drugs in his system when he died in a Detroit hotel room on May 17 following a Soundgarden show in the city.

According to the report – obtained by TMZ – Cornell had Naloxone (Narcan), Butalbital (sedative), Lorazepam (Ativan), Pseudoephedrine (decongestant) and barbiturates in his system at the time of death, and it appears he had taken 4 (1 mg) Lorazepam tablets.

In the days following Cornell’s death, various media have reported that sources indicated the appearance of fresh needle marks on his left arm, which can now be explained: the four puncture wounds were from EMTs administering Narcan to counteract an opiate overdose.

In response to the TMZ report, Cornell’s widow, Vicky, said “Many of us who know Chris well, noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgement seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind.

"Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back. We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy.”

According to a Detroit police report, the singer’s bodyguard found Cornell lifeless on the bathroom floor “with blood running from his mouth and a red exercise band around (his) neck.” Local medical personnel attempted CPR twice on the musician, unsuccessfully, before he was pronounced dead at 1:30 a.m. on May 18.

The rocker’s passing was immediately ruled a suicide by hanging following an initial autopsy by The Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office.

At the time, the Cornell family challenged the coroner’s findings, with attorney Kirk Pasich adding, “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris - or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and might’ve taken more than the recommended dosage.

“The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”

In documents obtained by Rolling Stone, Wayne County assistant medical examiner Theodore Brown wrote in his post mortem report that the manner of death was suicide and that "drugs did not contribute to the cause of death."

"It is my opinion that death was caused by hanging," wrote Brown. "Based on the circumstances surrounding this death and the autopsy findings, the manner of death is suicide."

The medical examiner then reiterated the circumstances of Cornell's death as found in the police report, declaring that the injuries sustained "were all consistent with hanging, partially suspended by the resistance exercise band."

Cornell was laid to rest during a private memorial service at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles on May 26.

See also:

Chris Cornell’s widow issues statement regarding Soundgarden singer’s death investigation
Chris Cornell’s brother posts tribute to the late Soundgarden singer
VIDEO: Guns N’ Roses perform Chris Cornell tribute in Ireland
Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell laid to rest in Hollywood
Search Soundgarden at hennemusic