CHANHASSEN, Minnesota: There was no evidence of trauma on Prince’s body when he was found unresponsive in an elevator at his huge compound or any indication the late music icon committed suicide, US authorities said Friday (Saturday in Manila).
Stunned fans massed outside the superstar’s Paisley Park studio complex on the outskirts of Minneapolis are looking to an autopsy carried out earlier in the day to resolve the mystery around the sudden loss of their idol.
But medical officials cautioned it could be weeks before they can conclusively say what killed the enigmatic, award-winning musician, whose death at age 57 plunged the entertainment world into grief.
Prince was found dead on Thursday, a week after he was hospitalized for flu-like symptoms that he later downplayed. There have been reports the incident may have been triggered by an overdose of an opioid-based painkiller.
“We have no reason to believe at this point that this was a suicide,” Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson told a packed news conference, stressing the investigation was ongoing.
Authorities plan to file a search warrant for Prince’s vast studio complex in the coming days, though they stressed this was standard procedure.
The sheriff said there were “no obvious signs of trauma” or violence on Prince’s body.
Prince was alone at the premises when he died, but Olson refused to comment on reports of painkiller use.
The Grammy and Oscar winner, who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004, was last seen alive on Wednesday evening by staff at the compound, but his body was only discovered the following morning.
The local medical examiner’s office says preliminary autopsy results will take days and the results of a full toxicology scan could take weeks.
The medical examiner’s office declined to comment on possible signs of drugs or a drug overdose in Prince’s body.
Grieving fans around the world took to wearing purple—Prince’s signature color—in his honor.
Those milling about outside his studio complex to pay their respects placed flowers and handwritten messages at the scene, which has become a place of pilgrimage.
“Broken-hearted. The end of an era,” said Jodi Surnix, 45.
“It’s almost like a photo album, his music, that you just can recall all these great times.”
The Canadian school bus driver said she cranked Prince up on the stereo for the kids when she drove them home after news broke of the singer’s untimely death Thursday afternoon.
In turn, Prince’s staff delivered 50 boxes of pizza to fans.
Many in Minneapolis said how proud they were of the city’s native son, and how saddened they were by the thought he died alone, as well as by the suggestion his death could be linked to an overdose of painkillers.
“I’m sad that he died alone because he was such a people person,” said Barb Ruhl, a 65-year-old retired administrative worker.
Cindy Legg, a 41-year-old nurse, said: “Hopefully it was just God needed him in heaven.”
Entertainment website TMZ, citing unnamed sources, reported that Prince was treated last week for an overdose of Percocet after a show in Atlanta, when his private jet made an unscheduled landing in Moline, Illinois.
The report could not immediately be verified.