Whitney Houston's private funeral will be streamed live on Internet
Whitney Houston's private funeral Saturday will be streamed live on the Internet and made available for TV broadcast, her publicist said.
The news came as investigators were serving subpoenas on doctors and pharmacies this week as they try to determine whether prescription drugs found in Houston's hotel room had anything to do with her death.
Officials said the subpoenas were routine in such cases.
“Subpoena power is one of the wonderful tools an investigator uses to get information from pharmacies and doctors,” said Dave Campbell, a retired captain from the coroner’s office. “You’re primarily seeking documents, not the persons who treated or prescribed, because you are doing a death investigation, not a criminal investigation.”
Campbell said investigators generally concentrate on the physicians most clearly connected to any prescription drugs recovered or conditions they know about. “Your saw a lot of this in the Michael Jackson case and I’m sure it will be useful in this incidence," Campbell said, referring to the investigation focusing on prescription drugs that was launched after Jackson died in 2009.
Authorities collected several bottles of drugs from Houston's suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was found dead Saturday. But officials have said the amounts of drugs did not seem unusually large, leaving it unclear whether the medications had anything to do with the singer's death. Officials are waiting for the results of toxicology tests on Houston's body.
FULL COVERAGE: Whitney Houston | 1963-2012
The source would not discuss specifics of the case but said it was standard practice to examine whether the drugs were dispensed properly and if there was any indication that she had been taking a dangerous combination of prescription medications. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing.
After Jackson died in 2009, authorities spent months looking at bags full of prescription drugs found at his home. His doctor, Conrad Murray, was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the star's death.
Investigators will probably also use a state-created database with more than 100 million entries for controlled substances prescribed in California. The database has been used in past cases to determine the amount of drugs patients were receiving and how much doctors were prescribing.
Houston's publicist, Kristen Foster, told the Associated Press that the funeral would be streamed Saturday at http://livestream.com/aplive. The family opted for a small, private service over a large, public one.
-- Richard Winton and Andrew Blankstein