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AP report: Prince died of 'opioid overdose'

Prince was found dead in his home at age 57.

Prince was found dead in his home at age 57.

UPDATE: The Midwest Medical Examiner's office has released its autopsy report of Prince. Scroll to the bottom of this post to read that report in its entirety. 

Rumors of drug use had surfaced within days of the sudden death of Prince, who was found  unresponsive in his home on the morning of April 21.

Subsequent reporting from the Star Tribune said friends of the 57-year-old rock god had reached out to Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a specialist in treating opioid addiction. Kornfeld, a Californian, was unable to clear his schedule for an emergency visit, and instead dispatched his son, Andrew, along with doses of the drug bruprenorphine, used to treat opioid cravings.

The "lifesaving mission" was too late: Prince was dead by the time Kornfeld arrived at Paisley Park, and it was Andrew Kornfeld who first called 911 to report the discovery of his body.

The chain of events leads to the most obvious conclusion, that Prince had succumbed to an opioid addiction. The Associated Press is now reporting that a "law enforcement official" has confirmed that Prince was killed by an opioid overdose.

The official's identity was not revealed by the AP story, but is described as being "close to the investigation."

Just what was in Prince's system at the time of his death will remain a matter of speculation until autopsy results are made public. Soon after his death, a spokeswoman from the Midwest Medical Exmainer's Office said the return of lab results could take "days or weeks." The autopsy was conducted on April 22, some five weeks ago.

We'll update this post as more information becomes available.

UPDATE:  At 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the medical examiner's office published its autopsy report into Prince's death. The lab results indicate Prince died of a "self-administered" dose of fentanyl, a prescription medication used to treat severe pain, and considered "more potent than morphine." Read the full autopsy below.

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