23 Mar 2012

Coroner finds Whitney Houston accidentally drowned

6:18 pm on 23 March 2012

A Los Angeles coroner has ruled that the death of the singer Whitney Houston was caused by accidental drowning, but drug abuse and heart disease were also factors.

The announcement ends weeks of speculation over the cause of Houston's death. She was found submerged in the bath of her Los Angeles hotel room on the eve of the Grammy Awards on 11 February.

In a statement, the LA County Coroner's office describes the manner of death as an accident, adding that "no trauma or foul play is suspected".

The cause was cited as drowning and "effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use".

A spokesperson for the coroner says drug tests indicate she was a chronic cocaine user.

Other drugs found in the 48-year-old singer's blood included marijuana, as well as an anti-anxiety drug, a muscle relaxant and an allergy medication.

The statement says, however, that those were not factors in her death.

One of the world's best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, Houston was laid to rest at a cemetery in her home state of New Jersey after a funeral attended by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and Mariah Carey.