Prince died of accidental opioid overdose: medical examiner

Posted: 12:07 PM, Jun 02, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-02 15:05:43-04

CHICAGO — Legendary musician Prince died of an accidental overdose of the powerful painkiller fentanyl, according to an autopsy report from the Midwest Medical Exminer’s Office released Thursday.

The iconic and innovative music legend was found unresponsive April 21 in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate in Minneapolis. He was 57.

The single-page report said Prince “self-administered fentanyl,” referring is a synthetic opioid many times more potent than heroin. The report was signed by Quinn Strobl, the office’s chief medical examiner.

Investigators had been reviewing whether Prince died of an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks before his death.

A search warrant shows a Minnesota doctor saw Prince twice in the month before his death — including the day before he died — and prescribed him medication.

Below is a timeline of key events from the last two weeks of Prince’s life:

April 7 — Dr. Michael Schulenberg, a Minnesota primary care physician, sees Prince, according to the search warrant. Also, two Prince concerts in Atlanta are postponed. The artist said at the time he had fallen ill with the flu.

April 14 — Prince performs makeup concerts in Atlanta, apologizing to fans. He jokes about having been “under the weather,” giving a slight smile. His voice seems a bit weak at times while speaking, but sounds fine when singing during his 80-minute show.

April 15 — Prince falls ill on a flight home from Atlanta, and the plane makes an emergency stop in Moline, Illinois. A law enforcement official who spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media said that Prince was found unconscious on the plane and that first responders gave him a shot of Narcan, an antidote used to reverse suspected opioid overdoses.

April 16 — Prince hosts a dance party at his Paisley Park complex and makes a brief appearance, showing off a new purple piano. “Wait a few days before you waste any prayers,” he tells fans.

April 20 — Prince is seen by Schulenberg again, according to the warrant. At some point, Schulenberg prescribed medications to Prince and ordered tests, according to the warrant, which does not specify what medications were prescribed or whether Prince took them.

April 20 — Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California addiction specialist, is asked by Prince representatives to help the star, according to Kornfeld attorney William Mauzy. Kornfeld sends his son, a non-physician, on a red-eye flight to Minnesota, carrying a drug used to treat opiate addiction.

April 21 — Andrew Kornfeld and others find Prince unresponsive in an elevator at Paisley Park. Schulenberg arrived “on the death scene” at some point, according to the warrant. He tells a detective he was there to drop off test results, and that he had prescribed medications that were to be filled at a Walgreen’s pharmacy.