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Heir to Getty oil fortune found dead

The grandson of one-time richest American J. Paul Getty has died at his home in Hollywood Hills. The police have said there are not yet signs of foul play, but they have not ruled out a criminal act.

Andrew Getty, grandson of billionaire Getty oil founder J. Paul Getty, was found dead in his Los Angeles apartment on Tuesday afternoon, according to a family statement. His parents, Ann and Gordon, confirmed the 47-year-old's death and asked for privacy during this "extremely difficult time."

Police said a woman had called from Getty's Hollywood Hills home to report the death, and that officers had found a man dead in the bathroom. Ed Winter, an official at the Los Angeles county coroner's office said the death appeared to be from natural causes, but had initially been called an accident because of medication found at the scene.

"The tentative information that we do have is that he was not feeling good for the last couple months and he supposedly had an appointment tomorrow with a personal physician," Winter said.

Police Commander Andrew Smith said that "at first glance," Getty did not appear to be the victim of a crime, but "that could change."

Getty is one of the four sons of Gordon Getty, a multibillionaire based in San Francisco who is one of the richest men in the United States. Gordon's father J. Paul was an industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Co. and was named the richest living American by Fortune magazine in 1957.

The Getty name is now best known in the Los Angeles area for the museum that houses much of the artwork Andrew's grandfather spent decades collecting.

es/sms (AP, Reuters)

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