Official: Whitney Houston drowned, cocaine in her system

Singer Whitney Houston 48, died Feb. 11, 2012.

Singer Whitney Houston 48, died Feb. 11, 2012. In the photo, Houston accepts the International Favorite Artist Award at the 2009 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre on Nov. 22, 2009, in Los Angeles. Newsday's obituary for Whitney Houston
(Credit: Getty Images)

Whitney Houston died from accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine and heart disease, a Los Angeles County coroner's spokesman confirmed Thursday.

Chief Coroner Investigator Craig Harvey said cocaine and its byproducts were found in Houston's system, and the drug was listed as a contributing factor in her death, according to The Associated Press. He said the results indicated Houston was a chronic cocaine user.

"We are saddened to learn of the toxicology results, although we are glad to now have closure," Patricia Houston, the singer's sister-in-law and manager, said.

Ed Winter, deputy chief of coroner investigations, told the Los Angeles Times, "She probably had a heart attack" before drowning.

The test results also showed that the six-time Grammy Award-winner had marijuana, the anti-anxiety medication Xanax, the muscle relaxant Flexeril and the allergy medication Benadryl in her system. However, the coroner's office said these did not contribute to Houston's death, also noting that no excessive quantities of prescription medications were found near her.

Houston, whose hits included No. 1 singles such as "Greatest Love of All," "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," and "I Will Always Love You," was found Feb. 11 submerged in her bathtub at the Beverly Hilton hotel by a member of her staff. She had been preparing to attend music mogul Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammys party there that night. She was 48.

She was buried a week later in a New Jersey cemetery after an emotional four-hour funeral service.

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