Whitney Houston autopsy report paints detailed picture of scene
The scene of Whitney Houston's death got a lot clearer Wednesday with the release of a full autopsy report describing her body, found face-down in the water, and the hotel room, where authorities found a "white powdery substance," a rolled-up piece of paper, and a spoon and a mirror with that substance on them.
Though Houston's body was face-up when authorities arrived, interviews with those present at the scene revealed she'd been face down in the tub, which had been filled about a foot deep with hot water.
A survey of abrasions on the body includes one on the left side of her forehead with an underlying bruise and a small, "very superficial" cut on her upper lip, both having occurred while she was alive.
The body was in the bath water for up to an hour, according to a time line determined by police.
The report also describes a "perforation of the posterior nasal septum" -- in other words, a hole in her nose that can occur with long-term cocaine use -- and "bloody purge" coming from her nose.
In late March, the L.A. County coroner released a ruling of Houston's death as accidental, with cause listed as drowning due to "the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use."
According to the report, on a bathroom counter police found "a small spoon with a white crystal-like substance in it and a rolled-up piece of white paper, along with other miscellaneous items," and in a bathroom drawer they found "remnants of a white powdery substance, and a portable mirror on a base. On the bottom of that base were more remnants of a white powdery substance."
Cocaine, marijuana, dephendydramine (Benadryl), alprazolam (Xanax) and cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) were found in her system, and an empty Xanax bottle is listed on the report among the medication-related items found in the room.
Beverly Hills police told L.A. Now on Wednesday that they would finalize their investigation after reviewing the coroner's report and taking any appropriate action.
Photo: Whitney Houston onstage in London in April 2010. Credit: Joel Ryan / Associated Press