Whitney Houston was 'underwater and apparently unconscious,' body being flown to New Jersey
Whitney Houston's body is being flown to her native New Jersey for a funeral, while officials have released chilling new information about what was found inside the Beverly Hills hotel room where she died two days earlier.
The 48-year-old singer was pronounced dead at a room at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Beverly Hills, California on Saturday, February 11.
"She was underwater and apparently unconscious," police said in a statement to OnTheRedCarpet.com on Monday, February 13. "Ms. Houston was pulled from the tub by members of her staff and hotel security was promptly notified."
Paramedics tried to revive her and pronounced her dead at about 3:55 p.m. Officials said bottles of prescription drugs were found near her body.
Beverly Hills Police Department Lt. Mark Rosen told OnTheRedCarpet.com and other reporters on Monday that police have carried out a preliminary death investigation and are not treating the matter as a criminal case, but have "not ruled anything out."
Houston's body was released to her family on Monday. A police convoy accompanied two vehicles into a Los Angeles-area airport, where a private jet carrying the singer took off shortly after 3 p.m. local time and flew to Newark, New Jersey, where her family is set to arrange a funeral at the end of the week, the Associated Press said.
Her body is expected to then be taken to the funeral home that organized her father's burial in 2003, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned.
On the day of her death, investigators for the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office worked inside the hotel room where she died as celebrities poured into the building for a pre-Grammy gala that Houston was supposed to attend. Producer Clive Davis, her mentor, dedicated the event to her (see photos). The Coroner's Office workers transferred Houston's body out of the building early on Sunday.
Los Angeles Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told OnTheRedCarpet.com's parent company KABC Television on Monday, February 13, that they found inside her hotel room a few bottles of pretty "normal" prescriptions. A source close to the matter said one of the medications was the antibiotic amoxicillin, OnTheRedCarpet.com has learned.
Winter said Houston's autopsy has been completed. The results will not be released until a toxicology report is produced, which could take up to eight weeks. Officials have not confirmed reports that also listed the antidepressant Xanax as one of the medication found in her hotel room.
"I have no information on where that information came from," Rosen told reporters on Monday.
TMZ.com said Houston was taking amoxicillin for a sore throat and also said coroner's officials told her family that "there was not enough water in Whitney's lungs to lead to the conclusion that she drowned" in the bathtub. Winter would not confirm whether or not water was found in Houston's lungs.
The pop, soul and R&B singer had struggled with substance abuse for years. She relapsed and returned to rehab in May. Two days before she died, she celebrated and performed at a Los Angeles nightclub in what marked her final performance, although it is unclear whether she consumed alcohol (check out photos and video from the event).
Her death occurred a day before the 2012 Grammy Awards, which featured an emotional performance of her hit song "I Will Always Love You" by Jennifer Hudson.
Dolly Parton, who originally wrote and performed the ballad, said in a statement obtained by OnTheRedCarpet.com on Monday, February 13, that she was "brought to tears" by Hudson's performance, adding: "Like everybody else, I am still in shock. But I know that Whitney will live forever in all the great music that she left behind. I will always have a very special piece of her in the song we shared together and had the good fortune to share with the world. Rest in peace, Whitney. Again, we will always love you."
Houston's ex-husband, Bobby Brown, was visibly upset during his concert with New Edition in Mississippi on Saturday, following the news of the singer's death. He cried on stage and reportedly broke down backstage before the show and was too distraught to perform in his band's opening number.
Houston married Brown in 1992 and filed a domestic abuse charge against him the following year. The pair got divorced in 2007. Houston had sole custody of the couple's only daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown. She was at the Beverly Hilton hotel at the time of her mother's death and was rushed to the hospital on Sunday to be treated for stress and anxiety. She was released within hours.
Check out how celebrities reacted to news of Whitney Houston's death as well as photos of Whitney Houston through the years.