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Coroner defers cause of death in Brittany Murphy case

December 21, 2009 |  2:59 pm

The Los Angeles County Coroner's office will make a final determination of what caused the death of actress Brittany Murphy after toxicology results are completed in the next two months, officials said today.

The medical examiner has completed Murphy's autopsy, but an official cause of death will be deferred until tests determine what substances, if any, were in her system that might have contributed to her death, said Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner's office.

Murphy, 32, died Sunday of a sudden cardiac arrest. A law enforcement source, who declined to be named because of the ongoing investigation, said Murphy suffered internal bleeding before her death.

It was unclear if an underlying medical condition might have caused or contributed to her death, officials said. Murphy, who appeared in "Clueless" and "8 Mile," was taking prescription drugs for medical ailments, authorities said.

LAPD officials said today that they have finished their initial investigation into Murphy's death and concluded there were no signs that a crime occurred.

-- Andrew Blankstein

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