Prince′s death ′not a suicide,′ sheriff says | News | DW | 22.04.2016
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Prince's death 'not a suicide,' sheriff says

Investigators said there were "no obvious signs of trauma" or reasons to believe Prince's death was a suicide. The autopsy on the singer's body has been completed, but final results are expected to take weeks.

Local investigators in the US state of Minnesota on Friday ruled out suicide as the cause of Prince's death.

"We have no reason to believe at this point that this was a suicide," Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson told reporters. "But again, this is early on in the investigation and we're continuing to investigate."

The sheriff added that there were "no obvious signs of trauma" on Prince's body, noting: "A sign of trauma would be some sign of violence that had happened; there was no sign of that at all." Olson did not comment on whether investigators believe foul play was involved.

Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator on the first floor at his Paisley Park compound on Thursday. Emergency crews on the scene attempted CPR but were unable to revive him and declared him dead at 10:07 local time.

Olson said the last time he was seen alive was at 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday when an acquaintance dropped him off at the compound.

A spokeswoman for the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office confirmed that an autopsy had been completed and Prince's body had been released to his family.

The spokeswoman said "it was a complete and meticulous exam" including "tissue tests" and a toxicology screen.

An official cause of death is unlikely to be announced soon, as final results from the exam will not be available for weeks.

"Gathering the results will take several days, and the results of a full toxicology scan could likely take weeks," the medical examiner's office said.

One week prior to his death, Prince was taken to a hospital with a flu-like illness, which he later downplayed.

Olsen declined to comment on reports Prince had been taking an opioid-based painkiller called Percocet.

"We are going to continue to respect his privacy and dignity," Olson said at the press conference. "We hope that you will do the same."

The singer's death has unleashed an outpouring of public grief on social media, as well as tributes from fellow musicians.

During a press conference in Great Britain on Friday, US President Barack Obama said "I love Prince" and called his death "a remarkable loss."

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