Autopsy: White Residue on Spoon in Houston's Room

By: Anthony McCartney, Associated Press
By: Anthony McCartney, Associated Press

Autopsy: White Residue on Spoon in Houston's Room

Los Angeles, CA (AP) -- April 4, 2012 --

Whitney Houston was found face-down in a bathtub with cocaine in her system and drug paraphernalia on the bathroom counter nearby, investigators revealed in the singer's final autopsy report released Wednesday.

The report delivered a grim accounting of Houston's final hours nearly three months ago. The singer complained of a sore throat before an assistant suggested she take a bath before the start of a pre-Grammy Awards gala. By the time the assistant returned, Houston had drowned and was lying face down in the tub.

Investigators who scoured the room later found in the bathroom a "spoon with a white crystal like substance in it," and a white powdery substance in a drawer and on a mirror, according the report. The report does not specifically identify the substances as cocaine, although toxicology tests discovered the drug in Houston's heart and extremities.

The report provides a sad footnote to Houston's life, revealing the toll the singer's drug use took on her body.

When coroner's officials said two weeks ago that Houston died from accidental drowning, they also revealed that cocaine had played a role in her death. The office has said there were signs of both chronic and recent use.

An investigator noted a hole in the singer's nose, listed under "history of substance abuse."

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said he could not discuss how recently Houston may have used cocaine, or other details of the final report.

Beverly Hills police Lt. Mark Rosen said the investigation is still open and he could not comment on the findings. The department has said there did not appear to be signs of foul play.

On her final day alive, Houston complained she had a sore throat for several days, and an assistant suggested she take a bath, according to the report. By the time her assistant returned, Houston had been submerged for at least an hour, the report estimates.

Water soaked the floor, seeping into the bedroom area.

Investigators initially expected drugs or alcohol played a role in Houston's death, but no alcohol was found in her system. They eventually ruled her death an accidental drowning, with heart disease and cocaine use cited as contributing factors.

Houston's death came just hours before a pre-Grammy gala thrown by her mentor Clive Davis. She was attempting another comeback by starring in a remake of the film "Sparkle," in which she plays the mother of three girls who form a singing group and struggle with fame and drug addiction.

A trailer released Monday featured Houston prominently, including a snippet of her performance of the classic gospel song "His Eye Is on the Sparrow."

Toxicology results also showed Houston had marijuana, Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril, and the allergy medication Benadryl in her system. None of those drugs were considered factors in her death.

The singer also had buildup of plaque in her arteries that can restrict blood flow. Winter has said the condition is common in drug users. The report indicated a 60 percent blockage in the singer's right coronary artery.

The singer had battled addiction for years, but friends and family have said she appeared committed to making a comeback in the months before her death.

"The biggest devil is me. I'm either my best friend or my worst enemy," Houston told ABC's Diane Sawyer in an infamous 2002 television interview with then-husband Bobby Brown by her side.


Houston Died From Drowning, Coroner Says

Los Angeles, CA (AP) -- March 22, 2012 --

Coroner's officials have ruled Whitney Houston died by drowning, but heart disease and cocaine use were contributing factors.

The announcement Thursday ends weeks of speculation about what killed the Grammy-winning singer on Feb. 11.

Houston was found submerged in the bathtub of her room at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on the eve of the Grammy Awards.

Several bottles of prescription medications were found in her hotel room, but coroner's officials said they weren't in excessive quantities.

Coroner's spokesman Craig Harvey says cocaine metabolites were found in Houston's system, and it was listed as a contributing factor in her death. He says the results indicated Houston was a chronic cocaine user.

You must be logged in to post comments.

Password (case sensitive):
Remember Me:

Read Comments

Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by ga Location: tville on Apr 5, 2012 at 09:48 AM
    one less crack head we will have to worry about!!
  • by Carla Location: Florida on Apr 5, 2012 at 07:15 AM
    These racist comments seize to amaze me. Silly people make silly comments!
    • reply
      by GV on Apr 5, 2012 at 10:16 AM in reply to Carla
      What comments are racist,idiot?
  • by KG Location: Thomasville on Apr 5, 2012 at 07:02 AM
    she was a crack head...
  • by chris Location: Tally East on Apr 5, 2012 at 04:03 AM
    Just to clarify Mother Teresa and Diana princess of Wales did not die on the same day. Diana late August . Mother Teresa first week of September. Get your facts right before you post !!!
  • by dog Location: gone on Apr 5, 2012 at 12:04 AM
    I am sure Glad it wasn't BLACK Residue that would have been RACIST.
  • by sick Location: sneads on Mar 23, 2012 at 07:36 AM
    Why Do the blacks always make a "racial" issue out of anything? Get a life! Stand up and take responsibility for what is your responsibility, NOT white people.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 08:33 AM in reply to sick
      You actually fell for that obvious troll?
      • reply
        by LC2 on Apr 5, 2012 at 05:53 AM in reply to
        Obvious troll is obvious.
  • by Brian Jones on Mar 23, 2012 at 07:06 AM
    Yeah, Whitney, Natalie Wood, Dennis Wilson and I took swimming lessons together
  • by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 06:19 AM
    Well, thank goodness that is settled. Now we can go back to worrying about the economy, gas prices, the endless war, taxes...
    • reply
      by Actually.... on Apr 5, 2012 at 06:31 AM in reply to
      I thought we were worried about free birth control, an unconstitutional health care system and "white" hispanics playing "gunsmoke" in the streets.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 05:08 AM
    Cocaine in her system... WHAT A SURPRISE....NOT
  • by NAACP on Mar 22, 2012 at 06:36 PM
    It's the white mans fault
    • reply
      by Vivian on Mar 23, 2012 at 06:20 AM in reply to NAACP
      Who do you think you are? Most people in jail are black because they are the ones selling or taking that stuff. The white man did not make anyone take that stuff! You do it on your on!
      • reply
        by me on Mar 23, 2012 at 07:53 AM in reply to Vivian
        so sad,the coroner must be white!!!Al Sharpton's next stop is L.A
        • reply
          by Vivian on Mar 23, 2012 at 09:06 AM in reply to me
          If its so bad here why dont you leave and go to another country?
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 07:14 AM in reply to NAACP
      It's the white powder's fault. There I fixed it for you.
      • reply
        by Vivian on Mar 23, 2012 at 09:03 AM in reply to
        You added the word white not me
        • reply
          by Anonymous on Mar 23, 2012 at 01:37 PM in reply to Vivian
          This wasn't in response to you, Vivian. It was a response to NAACP.
    • reply
      by Vivian on Mar 23, 2012 at 09:04 AM in reply to NAACP
      Or should I say white man
  • Page:
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 143886136 -
Gray Television, Inc.