Mystery surrounds "Kung Fu" actor's death

Sat Jun 6, 2009 3:15am EDT
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By Ploy Chitsomboon

BANGKOK (Reuters) - Mystery continued to shroud the death of actor David Carradine on Saturday, with rumor and speculation rife about how the star of 1970s-era U.S. television show "Kung Fu" met his demise.

With coroners awaiting the result of toxicology tests, Thai media pointed to suicide or an accident during autoerotic asphyxiation as possible cause of death, two days after he was found naked, hanging dead in his plush Bangkok hotel suite.

Police remained tight-lipped about the progress of their probe on Saturday and the chief investigating officer said it could take several weeks for coroners to confirm exactly how the 72-year-old died.

"What we're doing right now is interviewing more witnesses," Police Colonel Somprasong Yentuam told Reuters.

"It should take roughly three weeks for the blood test result, then we can wrap this case up."

Somprasong said he believed the likely cause of death was asphyxiation.

Thai television said Carradine's body was flown back to Los Angeles early Saturday, although U.S. embassy officials could not confirm the reports.

A maid found Carradine hanging naked by a rope in the closet of his hotel suite at the Swissotel Nai Lert Park hotel on Thursday. He was staying at the hotel while shooting the movie "Stretch."   Continued...

<p>Actor David Carradine at the 60th Annual Directors Guild of America Awards in California, January 26, 2008. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>