BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. – Whitney Houston was underwater and apparently unconscious when she was pulled from a Beverly Hills hotel bathtub, and she had prescription drugs in her room, authorities said Monday.
Two days after her death, Houston’s body was taken to a small Los Angeles-area airport and flown to New Jersey, where her family was making arrangements for a funeral at the end of the week.
An autopsy was done Sunday, and authorities said there were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma on Houston’s body. It could be weeks, however, before the coroner’s office completes toxicology tests to establish her cause of death.
The 48-year-old singer had struggled for years with cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her behavior had become erratic.
“As of right now, it’s not a criminal investigation,” police Lt. Mark Rosen said, refusing to release further details. “We have concluded our portion of the investigation at the hotel.”
The coroner’s office released the body to the family Monday morning. Later, a police convoy accompanied two vehicles into a Van Nuys Airport hangar, and a private twin-engine jet took off shortly after 3 p.m.
Two people who spoke with Houston’s family said the singer was being taken to New Jersey. Late Monday, a hearse under heavy police escort arrived at the Newark, N.J., funeral home that officials said was handling the arrangements for the late pop star.