While many of us continue to struggle with the death of Chris Cornell and what led to his death at the young age of 52, the Medical Examiner’s Toxicology report still doesn’t provide a clear answer as to what caused Cornell to apparently take his own life following his Fox Theatre show in Detroit on May 17th.
Michigan's Wayne County Medical Examiner has released the autopsy and toxicology report from Cornell’s death and confirmed the original cause as suicide and that "drugs did not contribute to the cause of death." Wayne County assistant medical examiner Theodore Brown wrote in his post mortem report, "It is my opinion that death was caused by hanging. Based on the circumstances surrounding this death and the autopsy findings, the manner of death is suicide."
The medical examiner’s report reaffirmed the original police report, which stated that Cornell was "found partially suspended by a resistance exercise band in his hotel room."
According to the Toxicology Report, seven different drugs were found in Cornell's system, including butalbital, lorazepam (Ativan), pseudoephedrine and its metabolite norpseudoephedrine, caffeine, and naloxone.
Chris’s wife, Vicky, has previously issued a statement questioning the rare side effects of Ativan – which includes suicidal thoughts – for prompting Chris’s death. The medical examiner noted in their report that the 200 ng/mL level of Ativan in Cornell's blood was well higher than the average 30-50 ng/mL dosage, it was also lower than the 300 ng/mL Ativan blood levels of those whose death are tied to the drug.
Following the release of the autopsy and toxicology report, Chris’s wife Vicki released an additional statement:
"Many of us who know Chris well noticed that he wasn't himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind...Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back. We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy."
R.I.P. Chris Cornell
(via Rolling Stone)