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The investigation into Michael Jackson's death appears to be turning into a criminal probe, albeit in a mighty roundabout way.
A day after denying a report that the Los Angeles Police Department was treating the Jackson case as a homicide, the L.A. district attorney's office has finally used the term "criminal investigation" with regard to the increasingly murky proceedings.
"There have been conversations by district attorney personnel with police and coroner's officials in connection with the ongoing investigation," D.A.'s office spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Thursday.
"It is common for law enforcement agencies throughout Los Angeles County to be in contact with the district attorney's office during criminal investigations. We provide legal assistance to law enforcement, if asked. No case has been formally presented to the office for evaluation at this time."
So there you...have it?
TMZ cited unnamed law-enforcement sources in reporting yesterday that the Jackson case had become a homicide, with authorities—which since last week have included the Drug Enforcement Administration and California attorney general's office—focusing on the prescription drugs found in Jackson's home.
The L.A. county coroner's office has continued to insist that it is investigating the death and not the doctors who had treated the King of Pop recently and in the more distant past.
Meanwhile, the D.A.'s latest turn of phrase comes as the coroner's office announces that the final Jackson autopsy results won't be available for at least another two weeks, rather than ours for the dismantling sometime next week.
"We do not anticipate being at a point where we are able to release autopsy results for at least another two weeks," spokesman Craig Harvey said. "That is not to say they will be ready for release in two weeks. Final reports are still pending."