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Brittany Murphy's death certificate released; cause of death deferred

Bmurphy The Los Angeles County coroner released Brittany Murphy's death certificate Tuesday and, as expected, no underlying cause of death was listed for the actress who passed away Dec. 20.

Cause of death was listed as "deferred."

That's not unusual -- it's the same situation we saw after singer Michael Jackson's death, and it's the same thing that happens as well when any non-celebrity person dies suddenly in the jurisdiction of the L.A. County Department of Coroner.

No special celebrity treatment here, just a lot of heightened celebrity interest.

"Toxicology is just one part of a bigger puzzle that has to come in," said Capt. John Kades of the coroner's office, speaking in general about what happens in L.A. County after a person dies suddenly -- with no obvious cause of death, such as a gunshot. This is "par for the course," he said, in the case of a 32-year-old woman, or any young person, famous or not.

In addition to toxicology tests -- often the big talker in celebrity cases -- studies might be conducted after an autopsy to look for evidence of disease in a person's organs (that's when you hear about "histopathology" tests) or brain tissue ("neuropathology").

"Naturally occurring diseases could be found in any person that could lead to death," Kades told CNN shortly after Brittany's death.

Toxicological and other tests from the Dec. 21 autopsy on Murphy's body are expected to take the usual six to eight weeks to complete. According to L.A. Now, authorities said Murphy had been taking prescription drugs for medical ailments.

After results come back, the doctor who conducted the autopsy sits down with "an abundance of information," Kades said, and renders an informed medical opinion as to cause of death.

And all that takes time.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Brittany Murphy on June 27, 2005. Credit: Matt Dunham / Associated Press.

Related Ministry of Gossip dispatches:

Brittany Murphy and the USO: an exclusive photo appreciation

Brittany Murphy and Simon Monjack: crazy in love

Brittany Murphy dies at 32; young Hollywood reacts

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Comments () | Archives (6)

dont you know the last person who was with michael jackson was a mad doctor?what if that doctor poisoned mj??

I just gotta say it caught me by complete surprise when she passed away...just little too young to suddenly drop

It's so sad to hear about a popular actress dying so instantly,and so young. It let's us see how even though they are celebrities, they are still human and can be taken away as easily as anyone else...

yall r dumb jkjk lol :)

I think it is very awful when i herd she died .She was still young .

I can't help thinking about all the Christmas Eves that came and went throughout her life, knowing that her own funeral took place on Christmas Eve.
I can't help thinking about Brittany as a child walking up Christmas morning excited about all the presents Santa brought for her.
God bless you Brittany. We're going to miss you so much.
We will always love you.
Thanks for all the memories.


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