Coroner Defers Cause of Death Decision


Jun. 26 2009, Published 11:34 a.m. ET

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After significant delay, a spokesperson for the L.A. Coroner's Office finally gave a press conference on Friday afternoon, confirming that the autopsy on the body of Michael Jackson had been completed, but that the Coroner was "deferring" a decision on the official cause of death until after further tests are completed.

The autopsy, which took approximately three hours and was completed around 1pm PT on Friday, was overseen by a medical examiner and an LAPD detective assigned to the case. The medical examiner has ordered further tests, including toxicology, pulmonary and neuropathology studies, that could take anywhere from four to six weeks to complete.

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There was no indication of "external trauma or foul play" said the Coroner's spokesperson. He was unable to answer specific questions about whether there were any pills or injection marks, as the LAPD has requested a "security hold" be placed on the investigation, putting most of the information gleaned from this morning's autopsy under wraps.

The spokesperson, who shot down rumors that it was unusual for an autopsy to occur so quickly after a death, explained that the body is now available for the Jackson family to take custody of. All that's required of the family is for them to make arrangements with a private mortuary to pick up the body from the Coroner. That could happen as early as 6pm PT this evening.


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