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Heiress Casey Johnson dead at 30 [Updated]

January 4, 2010 |  7:26 pm

Casey johnson Johnson & Johnson heiress Casey Johnson, in the spotlight recently for a custody battle, grand theft charges and a flashy engagement to reality TV diva Tila Tequila, was found dead Monday morning in her Los Angeles home, OK! Magazine has confirmed.

[Updated at 8:54 a.m., Jan. 5, 2010: Though there were no signs of foul play, the LAPD is looking into Casey's cause of death. An autopsy and toxicology tests were pending this morning, according to L.A. Now. Such tests typically take six to eight weeks to be completed and assessed.

Though "a natural death" had been cited in preliminary reports Monday, the police said they had no cause of death, and that they didn't know how long she'd been dead before her body was discovered.

Paris Hilton, a childhood friend of Casey's, expressed her sadness via Twitter late Monday and early Tuesday.

Updated at 9:40 a.m., Jan. 5, 2010: Casey, a diabetic, may have been dead for several days before her body was found.]

News of Johnson's death began circulating online around 5 p.m. PST, after TMZ reported that the wayward socialite's body had been found. Access Hollywood reported that the family had issued a statement asking for privacy. 

Johnson, the daughter of New York Jets owner Woody Johnson, had recently been trying to regain custody of her daughter, Ava. She'd also  been arrested on Nov. 30, 2009, and then charged with two felonies; she was accused of taking about $22,000 worth of items -- including underwear and jewelry -- from the Hollywood home of Jasmine Lennard, a model and also a reality TV personality who was on Britain's "Make Me a Supermodel." 

Her parents had recently cut off her trust fund, according to the New York Daily News, after she refused to get help for drug abuse.

Tequila, who had not mentioned her "wifey" Casey on Twitter for a few days -- this was unusual, if you follow such things -- posted a couple of comments on the microblogging site shortly after reports of Casey's death began circulating.

The first said she'd be "offline to be w family." Those tweets were followed by another saying she'd just learned Casey was not dead but instead in a coma, and yet another begging Casey to "hang on" until Tila got home. It was around this time that the OK! confirmation with the LAPD came through.

Tila next tweeted thanks, and a request for privacy, and then, as the Ministry got ready to hit "publish," posted this:

"R.I.P my Angel. @caseyjonsonJnJ u will forever be in my heart! I love u so so much and we will Marry when I see U in Heaven my Wifey"

Condolences to Casey's friends and family.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photo: Casey Johnson on Dec. 8, 2009, at a party in Hollywood. Credit: Noel Vasquez / Getty Images.

Related dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

Brittany Murphy dies at 32; young Hollywood reacts

Tila Tequila is pregnant or married or something? 

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