Autopsy Unclear On Harlem Fave Bobbi Kristina’s Death

March 4, 2016

Cissy Houston and her grand daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown (R) attend the opening night of "The Houstons: On Our Own" in New York in an October 22, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files

The medical examiner investigating the death of Bobbi Kristina Brown, who spent months in a coma after being found unresponsive in a bathtub in her north Atlanta home last year, said on Friday that the office could not say whether her demise was accidental or intentional.

The autopsy for Brown, the 22-year-old daughter of singers Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown, confirmed that drug intoxication and the immersion of her face in the water led to brain damage and pneumonia, which was ruled as the official cause of death.

“Death was clearly not due to natural causes, but the medical examiner has not been able to determine whether death was due to intentional or accidental causes, and has therefore classified the manner of death as undetermined,” the Fulton County Medical Examiner in Georgia said in a statement.


Brown was found unconscious in her tub in January 2015 and died in July. The circumstances echoed the death of her Grammy award-winning mother, who drowned in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel in 2012.

Cocaine abuse and heart disease contributed to Houston’s death at age 48, authorities said.

Brown was under the influence of marijuana, alcohol, a cocaine-related substance called benzoylecgonine, morphine and benzodiazepines, which are medications used for sedation or to treat anxiety, according to the medical examiner. It is not known whether the morphine was from heroin, the report said.


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A judge on Thursday ordered the autopsy report to be unsealed over the objections of prosecutors, who said it would compromise an ongoing criminal investigation of the celebrity daughter’s death. No one has been charged.

Brown’s former boyfriend, Nick Gordon, has been accused in a wrongful death lawsuit of causing her death and stealing from her bank account while she was in a coma.

Gordon’s spokesman, who previously called the lawsuit filed by the conservator of Brown’s estate “slanderous and meritless,” was not immediately available for comment on Friday.

A lawyer for Bobbi Kristina’s R&B singer father called the release of the autopsy report “unsettling” but said the family remained focused on the lawsuit and criminal probe.

Bobby Brown said Friday would have been his daughter’s 23rd birthday.

“For news affiliates to seek and obtain my daughter’s autopsy report, before anyone has been brought to justice for her death, is mind blowing to me,” he said in a statement. “Please pray for my family.”

Reporting by David Beasley; Writing by Colleen Jenkins; Editing by Chizu Nomiyamam Jeffrey Benkoe and Lisa Von Ahn. Photo credit: Cissy Houston and her grand daughter Bobbi Kristina Brown (R) attend the opening night of “The Houstons: On Our Own” in New York in an October 22, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/Files

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