Medical Examiner ‘Not Convinced’ Chris Cornell Committed Suicide


Dr. Werner Spitz, former chief medical examiner in Wayne and Macomb counties, reviewed Chris Cornell’s autopsy on Friday and and told the Detroit Free Press he was intrigued by the position of Cornell’s body, noting it was partially suspended.

Spitz said he was “not absolutely convinced” the suicide ruling is correct.

“In theory, it could be an accident,” he said late Friday.

Toxicology tests performed after the Soundgarden singer died May 18 in Detroit detected lorazepam, which is used in the treatment of anxiety and sold as Ativan; pseudoephedrine, a decongestant; naloxone, used to counter effects of opioids; butalbital, a sedative, and caffeine.

Spitz, who often weighs in on controversial cases, added that based on his reading of the report: “The way (Cornell) was found means he was able to regulate the pressure on his neck.”

The autopsy report said Cornell, who was 6-foot-3 and weighed 180 pounds, was in a torn gray T-shirt and black underwear.

Naloxone, one of the drugs present in Cornell’s system, is often given to resuscitate people with suspected opioid overdoses.

Spitz said it could have been administered when Cornell was found unresponsive.