Brittany Murphy’s cause of death deferred

By | December 21, 2009 at 9:24 PM

An autopsy performed Monday in Los Angeles on Brittany Murphy has not resulted in any definitive finding with regard to the cause of the star’s death.

According to a statement from the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner, additional tests are needed to determine what caused Murphy, who was 32, to expire.

“The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner conducted an autopsy on the body of Brittany Anne Murphy-Monjack, age 32, on December 21, 2009. The cause of death has been deferred pending the receipt of additional toxicological tests and tissue studies that have been ordered by the deputy medical examiner,” read the statement.

In keeping with standard procedure, the coroner’s office declined to make a prelimenary diagnosis until the results of the additional tests are available.

“There will be no final ruling as to the cause and manner of death until all of the requested test results have been received and reviewed in context with the autopsy findings. It is anticipated that this process may take approximately 4 to 6 weeks or more.”

As initial reports suggested, foul play is not suspected in her death. The coroner’s office appeared to corroborate this account, saying that there was no apparent physical reason to believe Murphy was the victim of any kind of assault.

“Anatomical findings show no evidence of trauma to the body,” according to the coroner’s statement.

It was reported Monday that Murphy had been experiencing flu-like symptoms for days before her death, and a spokesperson for the coroner confirmed that she had been taking prescription medication.

“The family said that she felt ill for a few days prior with flu-like symptoms and that she had vomited,” said spokesperson Ed Winter. “She was taking prescription medication, but I can’t confirm what types or quantities. We’re in the process of interviewing her doctor to find out her past medical history.”

“She appeared to be healthy,” he continued. “She’s a small woman, though.”

In addition to the reported flu-like symptoms, “Her mother reported to the hospital that she had some history of diabetes,” Winter said, “but we haven’t been able to confirm that or not, or to what level it was.”

Fans, colleagues and celebrities have been mourning the actress’ death since reports first emerged early Sunday.

“Today the world lost a little piece of sunshine. My deepest condolences go out 2 Brittany’s family, her husband, & her amazing mother Sharon,” tweeted Ashton Kutcher, Murphy’s “Just Married” co-star and former off-screen boyfriend. “See you on the other side, kid.”

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