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Whitney Houston's family feared her 'lifestyle' would kill singer

March 9, 2012 |  8:14 am

Whitney Houston in 2005

Whitney Houston's sister-in-law told Oprah Winfrey in an interview to be broadcast this weekend that she feared the singer's partying "lifestyle" could kill her.

The comments come as the L.A. County coroner's office and Beverly Hills Police Department try to determine how Houston died last month at a Beverly Hills hotel, a day before the Grammy awards.

Patricia Houston said "handwriting was kind of on the wall" when asked by Winfrey about the seriousness of the singer's  substance-abuse problems.

Beverly Hills police officials have said they don't believe foul play is involved, but the sources said investigators cannot pronounce a cause of death until all toxicology tests are back and detectives have concluded all interviews.

Investigators have served subpoenas on doctors and pharmacies as they try to determine whether prescription drugs played a role in her death.

Authorities collected several bottles of prescription drugs from Houston's suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was found dead Feb. 11. 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.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

Houston was found in a bathtub at the hotel a day before the Grammy Awards.

The death certificate, released this month, states that the manner of death was "pending investigation."

The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, said they don't know precisely when a cause of death will be determined but said it could still take another several weeks.

-- Shelby Grad and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: Whitney Houston in 2005. Credit: Los Angeles Times