Entries in Cause of Death (3)


Authorities Probing Death of Paralegal in Lawyer's Tub

Comstock/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- Authorities are hoping toxicology tests will give them clues into what killed a paralegal whose body was found in a condo owned by a prominent Philadelphia criminal attorney.

Investigators say a maintenance man found Julia Law naked and face down in a bathtub full of water Saturday around 10 a.m. Police say there were no signs of trauma or drugs found at the scene. An autopsy found water in Law’s lungs, ABC News station WPVI-TV reported Tuesday.

The condo was owned by Law’s boyfriend and boss, 58-year-old Charles Peruto, a prominent attorney known for his local mob clients. Peruto had given Law, his girlfriend of two months, a key to his apartment, investigators said.

Peruto told police he was in New Jersey Friday night into Saturday morning, overseeing construction on a new home, according to WPVI. While police have questioned Peruto as a witness, they do not consider him to be a suspect.

Police are waiting for results of more tests, which will ultimately give them a better idea to what killed Law.

Peruto released a statement earlier this week saying, “Julia was a beautiful, caring free spirit hippy, who I was blessed to have known. Words can’t express how sad I am to finally have met someone who I believed truly loved me. You should all have someone touch your life, like she did mine. Pray for her. She was an angel.”

Neighbors in the Center City neighborhood of Philadelphia are not rushing to judgment about the details surrounding Law’s death.

“This is not a crime, it’s a tragedy. Until someone tells me otherwise, there’s no proof of foul play or crime. It could be a million things,” neighbor Pamela McCarthy said.

Law would have turned 27 Tuesday.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Junior Seau's Death Ruled a Suicide by San Diego County Coroner

Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images(SAN DIEGO) -- The San Diego County Coroner has ruled former longtime NFL linebacker Junior Seau's death a suicide, according to a news release.

Seau, 43, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound of the chest Wednesday morning at his Oceanside, Calif., home.

Seau's body will be released to the family's mortuary after "completion of administrative responsibilities in the death certificate."

Officials conducted a forensic autopsy, which includes "a full examination of a decedent's body and organs and collection of specimens for laboratory studies."

The Medical Examiner's Office is "awaiting the family's decision regarding study of the brain for repetitive injury by researchers outside of the office," the coroner's release said.

At a press conference outside Seau's home on Wednesday, Oceanside Police Chief Frank McCoy said a woman who identified herself as Seau's girlfriend called 911 at 9:45 a.m. PT and told the dispatcher she had found Seau unconscious in a bedroom with a gunshot wound to the chest.

McCoy said a handgun was found near Seau's body but no suicide note was found at the scene.

Seau's mother broke down in tears at the press conference Wednesday, saying, "Take me, take me, leave my son, but it's too late."

The Chargers released a statement to ABC News' San Diego affiliate saying, "Everyone at the Chargers is in complete shock and disbelief right now. We ask everyone to stop what they're doing and send their prayers to Junior and his family."

Seau drove his SUV off a cliff in Carlsbad, Calif., in 2010, hours after being released from jail following a domestic violence arrest regarding his 25-year-old live-in girlfriend. Seau told police he drove off the cliff because he fell asleep behind the wheel, and police saw no evidence of alcohol or drugs, though some suspected Seau intended to commit suicide.

Seau played in the NFL for 20 years for teams including the Chargers, Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots. He leaves behind three children and an ex-wife, Gina Deboer.

Multiple former NFL players have committed suicide in recent years, possibly as a result of brain injuries, including former Chicago Bears safety Dave Duerson, who also shot himself in the chest, ex-Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman Terry Long, and Philadelphia Eagles defensive back Andre Waters.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Whitney Houston's Doctors to Be Investigated

Kevin Mazur/AMA2009/WireImage(NEW YORK) -- Investigators will be looking into doctors who wrote multiple sedative prescriptions for Whitney Houston as they try to determine the cause of the singer's death.

Los Angeles County Coroner's Office Assistant Chief Ed Winter told ABC News the office is "conducting an investigation and will try to obtain medical records from her doctors."

The coroner said on Sunday the autopsy on Houston was complete, but results would not be finalized pending toxicology reports, which could take up to eight weeks.

On Monday, Beverly Hills police revealed that Houston was found "underwater and unconscious" in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills, Calif., hotel room Saturday afternoon.  Prescription drugs were found nearby.  Photographs published by TMZ show bottles of champagne and beer in the adjacent room and on the floor next to the tub where she died.

ABC News confirmed on Monday that Houston's aunt, Mary Jones, found her in the bathtub and tried to revive her before paramedics arrived at the scene.

The 48-year-old singer will be laid to rest after a private, invitation-only funeral service in New Jersey on Saturday that will not take place at the Prudential Center arena, the owner of the funeral home making her arrangements announced on Tuesday.

"Whitney Houston's funeral will be held at noon on Saturday at the New Hope Baptist Church in Newark," Carolyn Wigham, the owner of the Wigham Funeral Home, told reporters.  New Hope is the same church where Houston honed her powerful voice in the choir.

Wigham said that Houston's mother, Cissy Houston, was at the funeral home until 2 a.m. Tuesday morning.  She "made it clear that a funeral must be inside a church," and that the Prudential Center, where members of Houston's family had said a public memorial for the singer was in the works, was not an appropriate venue.

Houston's body arrived in New Jersey via private jet and gold-colored hearse Monday night.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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