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Whitney Houston's sister-in-law describes finding singer dead

March 12, 2012 |  4:39 am

Whitney Houston in 2005

Whitney Houston's sister-in-law and manager described to Oprah Winfrey the scene in a Beverly Hills hotel suite when the singer was found dead.

Patricia Houston told Oprah Winfrey in an interview broadcast Sunday said she heard screams coming from Houston's room and when she arrived she saw one of the singer's assistants in tears.

She was able to see Houston before paramedics arrived moments later.

“She had a peaceful look on her face," Patricia Houston said.

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.

Beverly Hills police officials have said they don't believe foul play was involved, but sources said investigators cannot give 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 the singer's death.

Authorities collected several bottles of prescription drugs from Houston's suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, where she was found dead Feb. 11 in a bathtub. But officials have said the amounts of drugs did not seem unusually large, leaving it unclear whether the medications had anything to do with her  death.

PHOTOS: Whitney Houston, 1963-2012

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

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

-- Shelby Grad and Andrew Blankstein

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