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    Coroner: Brittany Murphy's Death Appears "Natural"

    Brittany Murphy's death Sunday may have been shocking, but according to a coroner's official, "it appears to be natural."

    At least for now.

    "We are involved in an investigation of Brittany Murphy's death," Ed Winter, chief investigator for the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office, told E! News. "She evidently collapsed in the bathroom. She was transported to Cedars-Sinai hospital, where she passed away. We will probably be doing an autopsy tomorrow or Tuesday—of course, the final results will be pending toxicology and further tests."

    Winter made his remarks outside the Clueless star's home, where he was accompanied by seven Los Angeles Police Department officers.

    There is no evidence of foul play, Winter added. "We come out, we look at everything, any prescription meds we do take. We will have to analyze everything and go from there.

    "It appears to be natural at this time. She has a medical history and there might be some other issues, but I can't elaborate."

    So what were Murphy's medical issues and why was she taking prescription medication?

    Her mother reportedly told paramedics the star was a diabetic, so she was presumably taking medicine to help control the condition. Her family also says Murphy was suffering flu-like symptoms, including vomiting, in the days precedeing her death.

    Neither the coroner nor police would confirm exactly what kind of prescription drugs were found in her home.

    Meanwhile, during her last public appearance back on Dec. 1, Murphy appeared extremely thin, leading to speculation of an eating disorder.

    Los Angeles physician Dr. Charles Sophy, who never treated Murphy, told E! News such factors could have contributed to her death.

    "Any one of those disorders alone could lead to cardiac arrest if it's severe enough or ignored from a treatment perspective...much less if someone had them together," Sophy said.

    Winter, meanwhile, said that funeral arrangements have not been made.

    "The family of course is very distraught over it," Winter said. "The family is being very cooperative. We would ask to give the family some privacy. They will not be coming out and there will be no spokesperson at this time."

    Murphy's family has released a brief statement: "The sudden loss of our beloved Brittany is a terrible tragedy. She was our daughter, our wife, our love and a shining star. We ask you to respect our privacy at this time."

    (Originally published Dec. 20, 2009, at 6:13 p.m. PT)


    Take a look back at the life of Brittany Murphy in our gallery.