[Update at 8:06 p.m., 6/26/09]
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Michael Jackson apparently suffered a heart attack, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday. Police sought to talk to the doctor who was with the pop icon during his last minutes and pumped his chest in a vain attempt to save his life.
As grief for the King of Pop poured out around the world, from the icons of music to heartbroken fans, an autopsy showed no sign of trauma to Jackson, whose death came just weeks before he was to launch an epic comeback bid in a series of 50 concerts in London.
The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity, said Jackson had suffered a heart attack. Jackson’s brother Jermaine had said the pop singer apparently went into cardiac arrest – which often but not always happens because of a heart attack.
Authorities said they wanted to speak with the doctor, identified by the Los Angeles Times as cardiologist Conrad Murray, and said they had towed his car from Jackson’s rented mansion because it could contain medication or other evidence. Police stressed that the doctor was not a criminal suspect.
Craig Harvey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner, said there were no signs of foul play. He said Jackson was taking some unspecified prescription medication but gave few other details.
UPDATE: TMZ LIVESTREAMS PRESS CONFERENCE WITH L.A. CORONER
[Update at 4:14 p.m., 6/26/09]
TMZ.com reports LIVE from the press conference with the L.A. coroner’s office who performed the autopsy on the late Michael Jackson. The presser is set to begin in approximately 20 minutes, at 1:30 p.m., PT.
being held by the Los Angeles County Coroner, regarding Michael Jackson’s autopsy. It starts at 1:30 PT — stay tuned. [FULL STORY & LIVESTREAM]
UPDATE: MISSING DOCTOR IN LA, SET TO SPEAK WITH COPS
[Updated 2:56 p.m., 6/26/09]
We have just learned Dr. Conrad Robert Murray — the guy who was with Jackson when he collapsed — is now in Los Angeles.
He is preparing to speak with law enforcement officials regarding Michael Jackson’s death. [FULL STORY]
UPDATE: JACKSON’S 911 TAPE REVEALED
[Updated at 2:13 p.m., 6/26/09]
TMZ.com livestreams the 911 tape where Michael Jackson is described as not breathing and not responding to CPR. CLICK HERE TO HEAR IT LIVE.
UPDATE: JACKSON’S MYSTERY DOCTOR IDENTIFIED
[Updated at 1:52 p.m., 6/26/09]
The doctor who was with Michael Jackson at the time of his death has been identified as a cardiologist from Houston, Texas.
KHOU in Houston reports the man is Dr. Conrad Robert Murray, who had been living with Jackson in his rented mansion. We’re told Murray attempted to revive Michael until paramedics showed up at the scene. [FULL STORY]
UPDATE: EMTs SAY JACKSON WAS DEAD AT SCENE
[Updated at 1:25 p.m., 6/26/09]
TMZ.com reports Jackson’s doctor insisted they perform CPR even thought EMT’s had determined he was dead on arrival:
When EMTs arrived at Michael Jackson’s home yesterday, the medics wanted to pronounce him dead on the scene — but Michael’s personal doctor refused to let them “call it” — this according to TMZ sources. [FULL STORY]
UPDATE: POLICE SEIZE PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FROM MJ’S HOME
[Updated 1:03 p.m., 6/26/09]
In the search for answers, investigators have seized “bags of prescription drugs” from the rented Beverly Hills home of Michael Jackson, Life & Style is reporting.
Family attorney Brian Oxman said he is willing to provide the names of the doctors who provided the prescriptions should the impending toxicology report reveal a possible connection. [FULL STORY]
UPDATED: MICHAEL JACKSON’S AUTOPSY HAS BEGUN
[Updated 12:04 p.m., 6/26/09]
We’re told some members of the Jackson family are headed to the coroner’s office. [FULL STORY]
[Updated 11:16 a.m., 6/26/09]
TMZ.com reports the autopsy has begun:
The Los Angeles County Coroner has started the autopsy on Michael Jackson.
Dr. Lakshmanan Sathyavagiswaran is performing the autopsy. The Dr. was a star witness in the O.J. Simpson case. [FULL STORY]
UPDATE: MJ’S LIVE-IN DOCTOR MIA, COPS SEEK INTERVIEW
[Updated at 10:41 a.m., 6/26/09]
TMZ.com reports that the doctor who allegedly administered the injection linked to his death is nowhere to be found:
We’ve learned law enforcement is looking for a doctor who lived at Michael Jackson’s home — and the doctor is nowhere to be found.
Law enforcement sources tell us a BMW belonging to the doctor was towed from Jackson’s home last night.
Cops are looking to interview the doc.
A law enforcement source says the doctor gave Jackson an injection before he died.
Jackson reportedly may have OD’d on Demerol. As we first reported, family members were concerned that Jackson was taking too much morphine. [FULL STORY]
UPDATE: MICHAEL JACKSON’S DEATH LINKED TO PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
[Updated at 9:32 a.m., 6/26/09]
The London Times reports that Michael Jackson’s death was linked to an injection of the painkilling drug, Demerol:
Speculation mounted today that Michael Jackson’s fatal heart attack might have been brought on by an injection of painkilling drugs after a rehearsal at a Los Angeles arena for the star’s comeback concerts in London…
The Sun newspaper today reported that Jackson aides told medics at the UCLA emergency room that the star had collapsed after an injection of the drug Demerol, a powerful painkiller which is similar to morphine and which is known to come with the risk of cardiac arrest.
“Shortly after taking the Demerol he started to experience slow shallow breathing,” the newspaper quoted one source as saying. “His breathing gradually got slower and slower until it stopped.” [FULL STORY]
The Sun, a newspaper in London, also reports the following:
The Jackson family’s lawyer – who was at the hospital when medics failed to resuscitate the star – later said his addiction to medications had become deeply serious.
Jackson collapsed and stopped breathing yesterday after an injection of the powerful painkiller Demerol.
He was said to be addicted to the drug – similar to morphine – and it is feared he took an overdose…
Lawyer Brian Oxman said Jacko had started taking drugs to cope with pain caused by previous injuries.
He said the singer had once set fire to his hair and fallen from a stage several years ago, cracked a vertebrae in his back and broken a leg, leaving him severely injured.
But he slammed the singer’s continued use of the pain relief drugs.
He told reporters: “I have been very critical of the use of pain medications.
“I have told people in no uncertain terms that if Michael one day woke up and he was dead I would not be silent, I would not permit this to go unchallenged.
“If you will also remember many many years ago his hair caught on fire while he was doing the Pepsi commercial.
“That started the use of pain medications in Michael Jackson’s life so they’ve been to treat actual pains he’s had, but the use of these medications I felt had become life threatening.”
Jacko’s opening tour dates were postponed last month after concert promoters AEG said Jackson, who had not performed since the 1990s, needed more time to rehearse his complex dance routines.
But after The Sun revealed that he was suffering from skin cancer there were fears that he was not fit enough to complete the tour.
Experts found spots of skin cancer on his upper body and pre-cancerous cells on his face.
The singer was left fuming after concert promoters booked 50 gigs.
He told fans earlier this month: “I don’t know how I’m going to do 50 shows. I’m not a big eater – I need to put some weight on.
“I’m really angry with them booking me up to do 50 shows. I only wanted to do ten, and take the tour around the world to other cities, not 50 in one place.
“I went to bed knowing I sold ten dates, and woke up to the news I was booked to do 50.”
Yet Jacko, who had been blighted by a string of previous health problems – including rumoured heart trouble – had still vowed to perform the £150million comeback shows.
Mr Oxman compared Jacko to Playboy pin-up Anna Nicole Smith, alleging that Michael had “enablers” just like her.
He said: “This (Jackson) family has been trying for months and months and months to take care of Michael Jackson.
“The people who have surrounded him have been enabling him.” [FULL STORY]
CHECK OUT EXCLUSIVE PICS FROM THE SCENE
UPDATE: Autopsy To Be Performed By Friday
County Coroner Lt. Fred Corral says an autopsy will be conducted Friday on the body of pop superstar Michael Jackson – and that results could be known by Friday afternoon.