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Whitney Houston death investigation expected to take time

February 11, 2012 |  5:59 am
It is likely to take some time for authorities to conclude their investigation into the death Saturday night of pop star Whitney Houston.
Both the Beverly Hills Police Department and Los Angeles County Coroner's office are investigating the death. No cause has been established, and authorities said Saturday night it's too early to determine whether she died of natural causes.

"There were no obvious signs of criminal intent," Beverly Hills Police Lt. Mark Rosen said.

Houston had drug and alcohol problems for years, and last May her spokeswoman said she was going back to rehab. Police said at this stage of the probe, they don't have evidence that drugs played a role in Houston's death.

In other cases of high-profile figures dying unexpectedly, the death investigations lasted for months and included detained toxicology tests. The coroner will ultimately rule on the cause of death and police are looking at how the death happened.

Rosen told reporter at a press conference that people in Houston's party called paramedics. Some firefighters were already in the hotel working a gala Houston planned to attend, and they tried to revive her.

Paramedics performed CPR for about 20 minutes before the pop star was declared dead.

 PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

The Beverly Hills Fire Department said it was called to the hotel about 3:30 p.m. and Houston was pronounced dead at 3:55 p.m.

Houston, 48, was in the Los Angeles area for a musical tribute for music executive Clive Davis and had performed earlier this week.

Houston was planning to attend Davis’ annual pre-Grammy party Saturday at the Beverly Hilton.

Earlier this week, the 79-year-old Davis perused page after page of guest lists in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where he conducts business when he’s in the Los Angeles area.

Among those Houston was expected to rub elbows with were Quincy Jones, Tony Bennett, Akon, Cee Lo Green, Miley Cyrus, Sean "Puffy" Combs, Jennifer Hudson, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello and Diana Krall.

"It’s a great time where everybody can set down their swords, so to speak," Davis said, seated on an overstuffed divan next to a coffee table cluttered with papers, CDs and videos. "I was grateful that, inviting them to my home, that they would feel comfortable and just keep coming back, and they've kept coming back every year to where it's expanded to be this incredible haven for musicians."

Publicist Kristen Foster told the Associated Press on Saturday that Houston had died but did not provide further details.

Houston was known for such hits as "How Will I Know," "Saving All My Love for You" and "I Will Always Love You." She also starred in movies such as "The Bodyguard."


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-- Andrew Blankstein and Shelby Grad

Photo: Beverly Hills police vehicles and a security worker at the back of the Beverly Hilton. Credit: Robyn Beck /AFP/Getty Images