SAN FRANCISCO: Comedy legend Robin Williams was found dead in the bedroom of his home near San Francisco with a belt around his neck and slight wounds to his wrist, police said Tuesday.
With an investigation still underway, the Marin County Sheriff’s Office said suicide remains the apparent cause of death for the 63-year-old Oscar-winning actor, who had been grappling with severe depression.
“His life ended due to asphyxia due to hanging,” said Lieutenant Keith Boyd, the county’s assistant coroner, as tributes to Williams—one of finest comedy talents of his generation— poured in from around the world.
Williams was found Monday by his personal assistant “in a seated position unresponsive with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the clothes closet door and the door frame.
“Mr. Williams, at that time, was cool to the touch with rigor mortis present in his body,” Boyd told reporters, adding that the inside of Williams’ left wrist bore superficial cuts.
– No word on suicide note –
Boyd refused to say whether a suicide note was found, but he disclosed that a pocket knife with signs of dried blood on its blade was being examined.
He also said the final cause of death would not be declared until toxicology tests are completed.
Williams—star of such hit films as Good Will Hunting, Good Morning Vietnam and Mrs Doubtfire—had last been seen alive Sunday by his wife Susan Schneider before she retired for the night, he said.
She left the house on Monday assuming he was still asleep in a separate room in the house in the town of Tiburon, just north of San Francisco.
Williams was found dead by his personal assistant, who entered the room “when he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door,” Boyd said.
First responders arrived at the Spanish-style gated residence around noon (1700 GMT) Monday following a 911 emergency call from a “distraught” caller who Boyd did not identify.
Father-of-three Williams, who wedded Schneider, his third wife, in 2011, had himself spoken openly in the past about his battles with alcoholism and drug abuse—and often drew on them in his stand-up comedy routines.