Ray Mickshaw/Getty Images
Ray Mickshaw/Getty Images
What killed Michael Jackson?
That's the question taken up by the Los Angeles coroner, police detectives and family associates after the iconic entertainer died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest Thursday at age 50.
The autopsy on Jackson will be performed today, although the exact time has not been set, according to Lt. Brian Elias of the county coroner's office. Elias also said the type of toxicological tests that will be ordered on Jackson is dependent on what the coroner finds during the autopsy. Toxicology test results can take up to two months.
Meanwhile, the LAPD is looking into the death. "An investigation is still ongoing," a police spokesman tells E! News. "This is standard procedure."
The police rep also shot down a TMZ report that Jackson's personal doctor has disappeared. "He's not missing as far as we know. We'll be talking to him eventually."
Foul play is not suspected, but already the parallels are being made to another tragic case.
"I had warned everyone. I said, 'One day we're going to have this experience,' and when Anna Nicole Smith passed away, I said, 'We cannot have this kind of thing with Michael Jackson'...I warned everyone, and lo and behold here we are. I do not know what caused his death, but here we are," Brian Oxman, a Jackson family attorney for 20 years, told the Today show in one of several interviews this morning.
Oxman, who no longer is officially connected to the family, said he learned about Jackson's death from his brother Randy.
The attorney said that Jackson's 2005 child-molestation case took a heavy toll on the singer. He theorized Jackson may not have been fully aware of his dependence on various painkillers, especially noticeable during his bizarro court appearances, when he often appeared disoriented and confused.
"I think anyone who uses medication doesn't really understand what the impacts of those medications are to your health and your body," Oxman told CNN. "He was in pain. He had broken his leg and fractured his vertebrae. He...used medications to eliminate that pain, and I don't think anyone who was in that condition knows the full implications."
A Beverly Hills pharmacy sued Jackson in 2007, claiming he was late in paying for $101,926.66 worth of prescriptions filled in previous years.
The suit was settled for an undisclosed sum just a couple days after it was filed. At the time, it was viewed as just one in a series of money-related problems for the artist.
Still, Jackson was given a clean bill of health at a recent physical in advance of his anticipated London comeback concerts, and those who saw him rehearse tell E! News the King of Pop "sang and danced and was amazing."
And Oxman stopped short of blaming anyone specifically.
"I want to see what the toxicology and autopsy report have to say before we get into any of that," he said, before adding, "[Michael] was my friend and I am going to miss him dearly."