Prince's Full Autopsy Report Won't Be Released, But Here's What We Know
On April 21, news broke of legendary singer Prince's death at the age of 57 after being found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota. An autopsy was completed soon after, but its results were not yet available at that time. That said, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson did say there were "no obvious signs of trauma" and that there was "no reason to believe this was a suicide." On Thursday, June 2, Prince's official autopsy results were released on Twitter by the Midwest Medical Examiner's office. However, the report explains Prince's full autopsy will not be released. The medical examiner's office's statement press release reads:
This public data includes the manner and cause of death. Under Minnesota law, all other medical examiner data is considered private or nonpublic data. The Medical Examiner's office is unable to make any further comments about its death investigation of Prince Nelson.
Despite the full report not being released to the public, the cause and manner of Prince's death is explained. The report lists "fentanyl toxicity" as the cause of death, which has also been ruled as an accident. As for "how injury occurred," the report rules that Prince "self-administered fentanyl."
Also on Thursday, The Associated Press reported an anonymous law enforcement official revealed that Prince's "test results" showed the singer died of an opioid overdose. Per the AP, the official who released the information was close to the investigation, but chose to remain anonymous, "because he was not authorized to speak to the media." At the time of the report, it was unclear if the reported "test results" were in any relation to the autopsy conducted in April.
According to CNN, and as stated above, the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office told the news organization that the full autopsy and toxicology report will not be released. CNN also reported that fentanyl is a type of medication prescribed for cancer treatment and "can be made illicitly and is blamed for a spike in overdose deaths in the United States." It's remains unclear if the fentanyl taken by Prince was prescribed or illegally made. Per the medical examiner's report, the Carver County Sheriff's Office is continuing its investigation into Prince's death..
Soon after his death, Prince's publicist released the following statement to Bustle:
It is with profound sadness that I am confirming that the legendary, iconic performer, Prince Rogers Nelson, has died at his Paisley Park residence this morning at the age of 57.
The Carver County Sheriff department also released a statement to Bustle reading:
Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson reports that on April 21, 2016, at about 9:43 am, sheriff’s deputies responded to a medical call at Paisley Park Studios in Chanhassen. When deputies and medical personnel arrived, they found an unresponsive adult male in the elevator. First responders attempted to provide lifesaving CPR, but were unable to revive the victim. He was pronounced deceased at 10:07 am. He has been identified as Prince Rogers Nelson (57) of Chanhassen.
The Carver County Sheriff’s Office, with the assistance of the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office and The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office, are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding his death.