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Thomas Kinkade autopsy likely to be performed Monday

April 9, 2012 | 11:29 am

The Santa Clara County Coroner's office likely will perform an autopsy Monday on painter Thomas Kinkade to determine his cause of death, an official said.

Kinkade died unexpectedly Friday at the age of 54.

Cindy Lemus, who works in administrative support for the coroner's office, said medical exams are scheduled for everyone who died over the weekend in Santa Clara County.

PHOTOS: The work of Thomas Kinkade

“All of the examinations from the weekend will take place this morning,” she said.

She said the corner’s office has a policy of not releasing the cause of death to anyone but the next of kin, which seems to contradict California law that states all coroner's reports are public record. 

Kinkade’s family attributed his death to natural causes, though the exact cause of death will be determined by the coroner.

Kinkade died Friday at his home in Monte Sereno, an affluent enclave near Los Gatos in the Bay Area.

"We are shocked and saddened by his death," his wife, Nanette Kinkade, said in a statement.

Kinkade had battled alcohol abuse, former business associates said in court records and interviews, and in 2010 his mug shot went viral after his arrest on a drunk driving charge to which he later pleaded no contest.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by their daughters, Merritt, Chandler, Winsor and Everett, and a brother, Pat, who worked for Kinkade's company.

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Coroner to determine how Thomas Kinkade died 

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 --Matt Stevens

Twitter.com/mattstevensLAT

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