Bobbi Kristina Brown's Autopsy: Drugs, Bathtub Water Killed Her, But Can't Say If It was Murder

  • by: Alan Duke

Bobbi Kristina Brown had a dangerous cocktail of drugs in her blood when she was found underwater and unresponsive in her bathtub last year, but an autopsy could not determine if her death was murder or an accident, the Fulton County, Georgia, medical examiner revealed Friday.

The drugs included found in Brown, who was 22 when she died, "included marijuana, alcohol (ethanol), benzoylecgonine (a cocaine-related substance), benzodiazepines (medications used for sedation or to treat anxiety), and morphine. It could not be determined from toxicology tests whether the morphine resulted from heroin use," a summary of the autopsy report said.

Brown was the daughter of singers Whitney Houston, who drowned in a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub in 2012, and Bobby Brown.

The autopsy report for Brown, who died on July 26, 2016, six months after paramedics found her unresponsive in her Roswell, Georgia, home. She never regained consciousness over the next five months and was eventually moved to a hospice facility after doctors convinced her family there was no hope of recovery.

Roswell detectives confirmed last year that they were investigating live-in boyfriend Nick Gordon's possible role in her death. Gordon has not been charged and remained free, although he did spend several weeks in a south Georgia rehab center for admitted substance abuse.

The medical examiner's report has been kept secret while police investigate, but the it was unsealed Friday, March 4, 2016, by the order of a Fulton County judge in reaction to a media request under the Georgia Open Records Act.

"The cause of Bobbi Kristina Brown's death as determined by the Fulton County Medical Examiner is: Lobar pneumonia Due to: Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, delayed effects Due to: Immersion of face in water complicating mixed drug intoxication," a summary of the report said. "The underlying cause of death is the condition which starts the downhill course of events leading to death and in this case is the immersion associated with drug intoxication."

Read the Medical Examiner's Report Here

The six months between the bath tub incident and the autopsy after her death makes it harder for investigators to find clues to Brown's death. "The autopsy alone could not reveal the underlying cause of death because of the long interval between Ms. Brown being found unresponsive in the bathtub and her eventual death," the report said. "Thus, the underlying cause of death is based substantially on review of medical records, the results of toxicology tests, investigative records, and the fact that the autopsy did not show any other likely underlying cause of death or reason for Ms. Brown becoming unresponsive."

"Death was clearly not due to natural causes, but the medical examiner has not been able to determine whether death was due to intentional or accidental causes, and has therefore classified the manner of death as Undetermined."

Read Also: Aunt Fight! Bobbi Kristina Brown's Family Feud

Nick Gordon told investigators he and another man found Brown face down in her tub that Saturday morning, January 31, 2016, but the court-appointed conservative for Brown filed a lawsuit in June alleging that he had an active role in causing her fatal condition.

"Brown suffered extreme visible life altering bodily harm as the result of the defendant's outrageous, unwanted, harmful and offensive contact," the suit, which seeks at least $10 million in damages, contends.

The petition claims that Gordon's earlier physical abuse of Brown caused her to loose a tooth and that she lost a second tooth in an argument the morning she was rushed to a hospital.

The lawsuit also offers a theory as to Gordon's motive. It alleges that Brown "confided to someone that defendant was not the man she thought he was and set up a time on January 31 to meet with this person to further discuss this revelation."

The lawsuit contends Gordon first held himself out to be Brown's surrogate "brother," but became her "boyfriend" after Houston's death in a Beverly Hills Hotel tub in February 2012 -- which resulted in the singer's daughter inheriting "a substantial sum." Gordon, who later held himself out as her "husband" in a "fraud," allegedly took control of Brown's money and limited her contact with anyone else.

Bobbi Kristina was just six when her mom called her up on a stage in Poland to sing "My Love is Your Love" in 1999. Watch the video:

  Alan Duke

Editor-in-Chief Alan Duke co-founded Lead Stories after ending a 26-year career with CNN, where he mainly covered entertainment, current affairs and politics. Duke closely covered domestic terrorism cases for CNN, including the Oklahoma City federal building bombing, the UNABOMBER and search for Southeast bomber Eric Robert Rudolph. CNN moved Duke to Los Angeles in 2009 to cover the entertainment beat. Duke also co-hosted a daily podcast with former HLN host Nancy Grace, "Crime Stories with Nancy Grace" and hosted the podcast series "Stan Lee's World: His Real Life Battle with Heroes & Villains." You'll also see Duke in many news documentaries, including on the Reelz channel, CNN and HLN.

Read more about or contact Alan Duke

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