The late "Black Hole Sun" singer's family released a statement that read: "Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise," according to Variety.
The family explained that the 52-year-old vocalist had a prescription for Ativan, which is an anti-anxiety medication that can cause paranoid or suicidal thoughts. The Cornell family is of the opinion that Chris possibly took a higher dosage than he should have and the drug impaired his judgment.
Vicky Cornell, Chris's wife, delivered a statement saying: "Chris's death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled. As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband."
The Seattle-based rocker was found dead in his hotel bathroom at 12:05 a.m. on Thursday. Just hours before, his band Soundgarden played a show at Detroit's Fox Theater. The medical examiner ruled his death as a suicide by hanging.
The Cornell family called the suicide declaration "disturbing."
"When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different," Vicky Cornell said. "When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him."
She continued by saying: "What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life. The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends and family means so much more to us than anyone can know. Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us."
At Chris Cornell's last show in Detroit this week, a photographer named Ken Settle spoke out about noticing the singer behaving differently than he'd seen in the past.
"My first impression was that Chris was more joyous than I'd ever seen him before," Settle said. "He'd always been, back in the early days especially, kind of a brooding performer, more introspective, sometimes looking down at his guitar most of the time with his hair in his face. At this show, it was the opposite of that."
Settle went on to describe Cornell's behavior in further detail, and it painted a peculiar picture of the singer's final moments. Learn more here.