Doctor Reveals Why He Ruled Chris Cornell’s Death A Suicide

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The following was written by Theodore Brown, M.D., Assistant Medical Examiner for the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, following Chris Cornell’s autopsy.

“It is my opinion that death was caused by hanging. Per the investigative report and the police report, the decedent was found partially suspended by a resistance exercise band in his hotel room by his security guard on May 18, 2017. The security guard had to kick in the decedent’s locked hotel room door and locked bedroom door. The security guard found the decedent on the bathroom floor with a resistance exercise band around his neck which was looped around itself using the resistance exercise band handle. The opposite end of the resistance exercise band was attached to a metal clip device, which was placed over the top of the bathroom door.

The security guard released the resistance exercise band from the top of the door, loosened the end of the resistance exercise band around the decedent’s neck, and began resuscitative efforts. Despite resuscitation, the decedent was pronounced dead at the scene on May 18, 2017. The autopsy was most significant for a ligature furrow mark of the neck, congestion of the head and neck above the ligature furrow mark, florid petechiae of the facial skin, and confluent petechiae of the left and right palpebralconjunctivae, all consistent with hanging, partially suspended by the resistance exercise band. There were no other injuries or any diseases present that contributed to death. Postmortem toxicology detected butalbital, lorazepam, pseudoephedrine and its metabolite norpseudoephedrine, caffeine, and naloxone in the decedent’s blood. These drugs did not contribute to the cause of death. Based on the circumstances surrounding this death and the autopsy findings, the manner of death is suicide.”