Brittany Murphy‘s unexpected death is still a mystery.
The actress’ “accidental death” at the age of 32 was more than six years ago now, and renewed interest in the case has sparked a conversation about the potential of reopening the investigation.
The L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told E! News that he certainly wouldn’t rule out taking another look at initial findings. If you don’t remember, it is said that Murphy died of pneumonia, anemia, and an accidental mix of prescription and over-the-counter pills.
“We would have to have direct evidence. In all honesty, it would take something like a confession. Something connecting somebody with it.”
He added that reexamination of the body would only happen “if law enforcement contacted us. Or we can reopen the case if there is substantial evidence.”
Back in 2013, a private lab (paid for by Murphy’s father, Angelo Bertolotti) tested hair samples that reportedly discovered an “abnormally high” level of at least 10 heavy metals, including barium (a substance found in rat poison) in Murphy’s body.
Those shocking results led the Clueless star’s dad to assert that his daughter was poisoned by a “third-party perpetrator.”
Even with this new information, the coroner never looked into it again. Winter explained:
“[N]othing showed to the point of poison. [The levels] weren’t off the charts, and the levels weren’t consistent with poison. We could have reopened the case, but we didn’t think it warranted it.”
Forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht from the University of Pittsburgh still believes the coroner should reopen the investigation:
“I would have checked to see if the private lab results were valid and, if they could be corroborated and analyzed, whether there was exposure and where did the exposure come from,” says Wecht of the University of Pittsburgh. “You have two people├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥a husband and a wife├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥dying five months of each other. And, not engaging in any wild speculation, with two young people dying five months apart you’ve got to check it out, and I still don’t know what happened. It [the case] was dropped, and they should have investigated it.”
E! News reached out to the late star’s mother Sharon Murphy to no avail. She was notably the only other resident at the home where both Simon Monjack and Brittany died.
Sharon’s former spokesman Roger Neal responded:
“She’s just checked out. Her whole world fell apart. I don’t know how she did it. I felt so bad for her. She is very strong person I don’t know how she kept from having a mental breakdown. I don’t know how she put two sentences together. She endured a lot and then had to endure Simon’s mom and supposed dad of Brittany going in the press intimate she had something to with their deaths and had to endure all of that stuff and it was horrible. I don’t think she ever had the proper time to grieve.”
This whole situation is just so sad.
Our hearts continue to go out to Birttany’s family and fans.
Do U think the case should be reopened, Perezcious readers?? SOUND OFF in the comments!
[Image via WENN.]