Michigan’s Wayne County Medical Examiner has released the full autopsy and toxicology report on former Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, determining that the cause of death was indeed suicide by hanging, and that “drugs did not contribute to the cause of death.” The medical examiner confirmed the police report that Cornell was “found partially suspended by a resistance exercise band in his hotel room” and that the injuries were “consistent with hanging”.
While the report says that drugs were not responsible for the death, the report does acknowledge that several drugs were found in Cornell’s system. One of the most present substances was Ativan, an anxiety medicine of which there were four doses. Cornell’s family blamed Ativan even before the report was released, saying it may have caused the side effect of suicidal thoughts to attack Cornell. However, while the examiner said that the dosage found in Cornell was much higher than normal, it was lower than the amount found in those who were confirmed to have committed suicide thanks to the drug. Other drugs found in Cornell’s body included Butalbital, a sedative; Narcan, a “narcotic antagonist”; pseudoephedrine, a decongestant; and caffeine from No-Doz tablets.
After the report was released, Vicki Cornell, Chris’ wife, wrote her own statement: “Many of us who know Chris well noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off. We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind. Something clearly went terribly wrong and my children and I are heartbroken and are devastated that this moment can never be taken back. We very much appreciate all of the love we have received during this extremely difficult time and are dedicated to helping others in preventing this type of tragedy.”