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Whitney Houston drowned accidentally; cocaine in her system

March 22, 2012 |  2:27 pm

Whitney Houston in 2005

Coroner releases Whitney Houston's cause of death This post has been amended. See note below.
Whitney Houston died as the result of drowning in what the Los Angeles County coroner has ruled as an accidental death. The coroner said heart disease and cocaine use were also factors in her death on Feb. 11. Cocaine was found in her system, the coroner said.

The ruling ends weeks of speculation over how the pop star died.

Authorities collected several bottles of prescription drugs from Houston's suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was found dead. But officials have said the amounts of drugs did not seem unusually large.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

Toxicology tests showed a cocktail of drugs in the pop star's system. Traces of marijuana, Xanax, Flexeril and Benadryl were also found, but officials concluded that those drugs did not contribute to her death.

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."

[For the record, 4:07 p.m.: An earlier version of this post incorrectly stated that because the amount of drugs found in her room was not an unusually large amount, it was unclear whether they played a role. The report released Thursday states that cocaine was a contributing cause of her death, but the other drugs found in her system were not factors.]


Numerous drugs found in singer's system

Houston may have had heart attack before drowning

-- Andrew Blankstein

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