Houston drowned in very hot water, cocaine in system

By Reuters Updated at 2012-04-07 08:14:46 +0000


LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Whitney Houston drowned in a hot bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel room with cocaine in her system and white powder nearby, a final coroner's report revealed on Wednesday.

Detectives found white powdery substances, a rolled-up piece of paper, a small spoon and a mirror in the bathroom shortly after Houston's naked body was found face down in the bathtub on February 11, the 40-page Los Angeles County coroner's report said.

Houston, 48, had a history of drug addiction. An autopsy in March determined she died of accidental drowning due to the effects of cocaine and heart disease.

Wednesday's report revealed that Houston had a perforated nose, indicating substance abuse, filled with a bloody discharge.

Detectives said she was found in about 12 inches of extremely hot water, which was determined to be 93 Fahrenheit (34 Celsius) some six hours after her death.

The singer also had traces of marijuana in her system and an open bottle of champagne was found in her room at the Beverly Hilton, hours before she was due to attend a pre-Grammy party.

On a counter in the bathroom, detectives found "a small spoon with a crystal-like substance in it and a rolled up piece of white paper."

In a drawer, they found "a white powdery substance and a portable mirror on a base" together with more remnants of powder on the base of the mirror.

Wednesday's report did not identify the substance.

The "I Will Always Love You" singer appears to have been left alone in the hotel room for less than an hour. Houston had complained of a sore throat and her personal assistant advised the singer to have a bath to get ready for the party while she went to a nearby Neiman Marcus department store to pick up items for her appearance.

When the assistant returned, she found a naked Houston face down in the bathtub and unresponsive, according to the report.

Houston was one of the world's best known singers in the 1980s and 1990s with hits such as "Saving All My Love For You" and "I Wanna Dance with Somebody."

But her career declined during a tumultuous, drug-fueled 15-year marriage to singer Bobby Brown. She was last known to have entered drug rehabilitation in May 2011 but celebrity media reported that she was seen drinking heavily and behaving erratically in the three or four days before her death.

Houston's family said in statement last month that they were "saddened to have learned of the toxicology results" that revealed recent cocaine use, but were glad to have closure.