Support Salvation Army Wildfire Relief

Official says Prince died of opioid overdose

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

CHICAGO – A law-enforcement official tells The Associated Press that tests show Prince died of an opioid overdose.

The 57-year-old singer was found dead April 21 at his Minneapolis-area estate.

The official, who is close to the investigation, spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Investigators have been reviewing whether Prince died of an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks before his death.

Opioids found with Prince’s body

A law enforcement source told CNN that investigators had found opioid medication with Prince’s body.

The day before Prince died, his team called an eminent opioid addiction specialist in California seeking help with “a grave medical emergency,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported.

According to the newspaper’s account, Prince representatives called Dr. Howard Kornfeld on April 20.

Kornfeld had other commitments he could not change, but sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld in his place, the newspaper said. The elder Kornfeld planned to fly out the following day, and hoped to bring Prince back to California for long-term treatment, the newspaper reported.

Andrew Kornfeld took an overnight flight to Minnesota and met with Prince’s representatives the morning of April 21, the Star Tribune reported.

“The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan,” the newspaper quoted Mauzy as saying, adding the elder Kornfeld was “planning on a lifesaving mission.”

But Andrew Kornfeld and two of Prince’s representatives could not initially find the musician, Mauzy told the newspaper. The trio finally found Prince, unresponsive, inside an elevator, Mauzy said.

It was Korneld who called 911, Mauzy said. The others were too distraught, he said.

According to the Star Tribune story, Andrew Kornfeld had with him a small amount of a medication called buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone, which helps reduce opioid cravings. That treatment was never administered, he said, according to the newspaper.

Suboxone is a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of opiate dependence such as heroin addiction. It binds to the same receptors as opiates and renders them ineffective, according to experts.

Investigators also believe a health scare about a week before Prince’s death, which caused an unscheduled landing of his plane in Illinois, was likely the result of a reaction to the pain medication, a law enforcement source said.