Hoffman Autopsy: Inconclusive

More tests are needed to determine cause of death

By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 5, 2014 12:32 PM CST

(Newser) – The preliminary autopsy results for Philip Seymour Hoffman are in, and they're inconclusive. A spokeswoman for the medical examiner's office says that further tests are needed to get a definite cause of death; she declined to say which tests will be performed, but the AP notes that toxicology and tissue tests are typical. Police, meanwhile, continue to investigate his death as a drug overdose, given that he had a needle in his arm and that packets of heroin were found nearby.

Hoffman had been frank about struggling with substance abuse. He told CBS' 60 Minutes in 2006 that had he used "anything I could get my hands on" before getting clean at age 22. But in interviews last year, he said he'd relapsed, had developed a heroin problem, and had gone to rehab for a time. Officials have been gathering pieces of the puzzle of what Hoffman was doing in the days and hours before his body was found, in his bathroom, around 11:30am Sunday by his assistant and one of his friends. The friend had spoken to the actor by phone around 9pm Saturday, a law enforcement official said.

Fairport High School alumnus Philip Seymour Hoffman was memorialized in the snow on the hill behind the high school on Monday, Feb 3, 2014, the day after he died in New York.   (AP Photo/Democrat & Chronicle, Annette Lein)
A makeshift memorial is seen, Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, outside the building where the body of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman was found in New York.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
In a Monday, Nov, 18, 2013 file photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman seen at 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire' premiere in Los Angeles.   (Photo by Alexandra Wyman/Invision for Lionsgate/AP Images, File)
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