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Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2008

Ledger autopsy inconclusive

January 24, 2008

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— Six different types of prescription drugs were found in Heath Ledger's apartment - including anti-anxiety medications and sleeping pills - though the cause of his death won't be known for several days after a preliminary autopsy Wednesday was inconclusive, authorities said.

A rolled-up $20 bill was also found on the floor near the Australian actor's bed, but lab tests detected no traces of drug residue. Police also said no illegal drugs were found in the apartment.

Among the prescription medications found were pills to treat insomnia and anxiety, and an antihistamine, according to two law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing. Three of the drugs were prescribed in Europe, the sources said.

The $20 bill was found on the floor near Ledger's bed, and New York Police Department spokesman Paul Browne said lab tests found nothing to indicate it had been used to snort drugs.

The Australian-born actor was found dead Tuesday by his housekeeper and a massage therapist - lying naked and face-down on his bed, police said.

The pills were found in bottles in Ledger's bedroom and bathroom, and police said the death was caused by a possible drug overdose and appeared to be accidental.

Ellen Borakove, a spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office, said the autopsy on the 28-year-old actor was inconclusive and that more would be known in about 10 days, when more tests were completed.

Police said Ledger probably died Tuesday between 1 p.m. and 2:45 p.m. At 1 p.m., the housekeeper went into his bedroom to change a light bulb, saw him sleeping and heard him snoring.

At 2:45 p.m., the massage therapist showed up for Ledger's appointment, knocked on his door and got no answer. She later noticed Ledger was unconscious and called Mary-Kate Olsen, whose number was programmed into Ledger's cell phone, to seek advice.

Olsen said she would send over her private security. In the ensuing moments, the massage therapist realized that Ledger might be dead, and called 911. Paramedics - and Olsen's security people - arrived minutes later.

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