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LAPD: Brittany Murphy's death not a criminal matter

December 21, 2009 | 11:02 am

The Los Angeles Police Department has finished its initial probe of actress Brittany Murphy's death, concluding there were no signs that a crime occurred.

The case is now in the hands of the L.A. County coroner's office, which today is performing an autopsy on the actress, who was 32. Investigators said there was no evidence of foul play.

Brittany Murphy, who appeared in "Clueless" and "8 Mile," died Sunday morning of sudden cardiac arrest, authorities said.

The coroner's office said it was not immediately clear whether an underlying medical condition might have caused or contributed to her death. Authorities said Murphy was taking prescription drugs for medical ailments but would not be more specific.

"Right now, it's strictly a death investigation," said LAPD Lt. Bob Binder.

Law enforcement officials familiar with the investigation, but who asked not to be identified because of the investigation, stressed that they were awaiting the results of Murphy's autopsy and the subsequent toxicology report to make a final determination of what caused her death.

The sources said the medical examinations might yield additional information that could be used as a pretext by homicide investigators to reopen their part of the death investigation.

-- Andrew Blankstein

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