The results of an additional toxicology report on pop icon Prince's 2016 death were released on Monday, and the results are concerning.
The Associated Press reports Prince had "extremely high levels" of the painkiller fentanyl — the drug that was determined to be the cause of an overdose after an initial autopsy report — in his body at the time of his death.
The AP reached out to medical experts not tied to the Prince investigation with the results of the toxicology report. Experts said the numbers leave no doubt about how the 57-year-old singer died.
"The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches," Dr. Lewis Nelson said. As chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Dr. Nelson could confidently concur that the fentanyl concentrations were "a pretty clear smoking gun."
Prince's blood was found to have 67.9 micrograms of concentrated fentanyl per liter and 450 micrograms per kilogram in his liver. The report claims fatalities have been documented with people having blood levels just 58 micrograms per liter and 69 micrograms per kilogram in the liver, so Prince was clearly way over both numbers at the time of his death.
However, the Associated Press stressed that medical experts have determined there is no "lethal level" to where a certain amount of fentanyl will kill a person, as the body is able to build up a tolerance if taken frequently over a long period of time. A dose that could kill one person could potentially be harmless to another.
Search warrants from Prince's death at his Paisley Park mansion were released about a year after the fact, and showed numerous pills testing positive for fentanyl were found around the house.
The surviving family members of the "Purple Rain" singer filed a legal motion back in February to investigate "whether to commence a wrongful death action."0comments
"(We) respectfully ask this Court to order the Carver County Sheriff's Office, Medical Examiner's Office and the County Attorney to produce all investigative data in their possessions related to the death of Mr. Nelson," the trustees wrote in response, referring to Prince by his real last name.
However, the request for investigator's findings was denied by the Carver County Office. The lead prosecutor in the county's investigation said in a statement last week that he was reviewing the authorities' reports and would decide "in the near future" whether to charge anyone with a wrongful death lawsuit.