Coroner: Houston Drowned in Very Hot Water, Cocaine in System
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (KTLA) — Investigators found a white, crystalline substance and spoon with residue in the hotel room where Whitney Houston died in February, according to the final coroner’s report.
The report, which was released on Wednesday, said police found “a small spoon with a white, crystal-like substance in it and a rolled-up piece of white paper, along with other miscellaneous items,” on the bathroom counter.
The spoon tested positive for cocaine, according to the 41-page report.
Investigators also found “remnants of a white powdery substance” in a nearby drawer, along with a portable mirror on a base.
The report said that “on the bottom of that base were more remnants of a white, powdery substance.”
Houston, 48, was found submerged in a bathtub filled with about a foot of extremely hot water (93.5 degrees) in her Beverly Hilton hotel room on Feb. 11, the day before the Grammy Awards.
The coroner’s report noted that Houston suffered several small scald burns on her face at the time of her death.
Toxicology testing measured .58 micrograms of cocaine per milliliter of blood drawn from a vein in her leg during the autopsy.
HLN’s Dr. Drew Pinsky, an addiction medicine specialist, called that a “moderate” amount.
Her cocaine use appeared to have occurred “in the time period just immediately prior to her collapse in the bathtub at the hotel,” Chief Coroner Craig Harvey said when he released the preliminary report last month.
Detectives found a “plethora of medications bottles” in the hotel room, although the coroner concluded the prescription drugs “did not contribute to the death.”
Along with cocaine, the toxicology tests found other drugs in her body, including marijuana, the anti-anxiety drug Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril and the allergy medicine Benadryl, the report said.
It also said that Houston was last seen alive between 2:45 and 3 p.m. on Feb. 11 by her personal assistant.
The singer had complained of a sore throat and her assistant recommended that she take a bath prior to a pre-Grammy party.
The assistant then left to pick up items at Neiman Marcus and returned to the locked hotel room at 3:36 p.m.
When she went into the bathroom, she found Houston face-down and unresponsive in the tub, the report said.
Houston’s assistant and bodyguard called 911 and pulled her body from the bathtub at 3:43 p.m.
She was declared dead at 3:55 p.m. by paramedics, according to the report.
Houston won six Grammys and sold 170 million albums, singles and videos over her career.
In recent years, the singer’s accomplishments were overtaken by her struggles with drug addiction.