Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
There won't be real answers for weeks regarding Whitney Houston's technical cause of death, but it seemed as if even the usual "inconclusive" placeholder wouldn't be forthcoming this time.
The Beverly Hills Police Department has placed a security hold on any conclusions determined today by the autopsy performed on the pop icon, who died yesterday afternoon at the age of 48.
Except for the usual.
"Nothing is being released at this time," John Kades of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said earlier today.
But Chief Coroner Ed Winter did confirm that Houston was first discovered in the bathtub in her room at the Beverly Hilton and offered these remarks at a press conference: "The investigation into Houston's Death is ongoing. The autopsy has been completed, the cause of death is deferred pending toxicology and further testing."
They are not ruling out any conclusion at this time, Winter said.
Authorities issued a statement earlier that there were "no obvious signs of criminal intent," but the BHPD will not be releasing any more information regarding its investigation until at least tomorrow. Winter also noted that there were no signs of trauma on the body.
Standard protocol is for the coroner's office to confirm that the autopsy proved inconclusive pending the result of toxicology tests, so a security hold in which no comment at all is available would have been out of the norm.
Similar holds was put into place, however, when Michael Jackson, Brittany Murphy and Corey Haim died. "A lot of times on in-custody or officer-involved shooting cases or high profile murder cases we'll put security holds to give the law enforcement agency a chance to do further investigation, so it's not uncommon," Winter said.
Meanwhile, a hotel source tells E! News that guests in a room below Houston's fourth-floor suite complained of a water leak in their ceiling on Friday night and that maintenance workers discovered an overflowing bath tub. The insider says that the guests were told the leak was coming from Houston's room and the mess was cleaned up.
Police are aware of the incident. The coroner's office has offered no comment as to how long Houston's body may have been in her tub before she was found. Unconfirmed reports have noted that the singer was seen alive earlier Saturday.
"We're looking at all aspects of the case," Winter said. "Hopefully, maybe, by Wednesday or Thursday this next week I can give you another update, but there won't be anything else this evening or probably tomorrow or the next day."
(Originally published Feb. 12, 2012, at 4:04 p.m. PT)