Drug tests awaited on Brittany Murphy death

Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:54pm EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - An autopsy on the body of actress Brittany Murphy was completed on Monday, but authorities said the exact cause of death will not be known until toxicology tests are finished in four to six weeks.

As speculation mounted that prescription drugs or anorexia may have played a part in Murphy's death at age 32, the Los Angeles coroner's office said there were no signs of trauma. Police said no foul play was suspected.

Murphy, who co-starred in the movie "Clueless" and "8 Mile," suffered cardiac arrest on Sunday in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home.

Her husband, British screenwriter Simon Monjack, told Access Hollywood she had been suffering from laryngitis and Sunday morning had been "a regular day" at their home before Murphy was found unresponsive in the shower.

"(Her mother) Sharon went into the bathroom because she had been in there a long time. Her mom screamed for me and I ran. Then called 911," he said. "My world was destroyed yesterday."

Celebrity website TMZ reported there was "a significant amount of vomit" in the bathroom area and that there were a lot of prescriptions in the house.

News reports recalled Murphy's emaciated appearance in recent weeks. Us Weekly printed a photo on its website of her last known public appearance on the red carpet in Los Angeles December 3, which showed the actress in a sleeveless dress with rail-thin arms and legs.

In 2005, Murphy denied widespread rumors that she had an eating disorder or that her weight loss was due to cocaine use.   Continued...

<p>Actress Brittany Murphy waves as she arrives at the Sydney premiere of the movie "Happy Feet" at Fox Studios in Sydney in this December 10, 2006 file photo. REUTERS/Will Burgess</p>