Investigators: Prince in Possession of Painkillers at Time of Death

Sheriff seeks help from DEA to determine source of late musician's medication

Investigators said they found prescription painkillers in Prince's possession and in his house at his time of death. Credit: Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty

Prince had prescription painkillers in his possession and in his house when he died, according to Carver County, Minnesota officials investigating the musician's death, NBC reports.

Since making the discovery, the Carver County Sheriff has asked the Drug Enforcement Agency for help in determining where the medication came from and what prescriptions Prince had obtained. Both are routine checks the DEA performs in death investigations.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported earlier this week that investigators were focusing on how painkillers may have led to Prince's recent hospitalization and sudden death at his Paisley Park home and studio outside of Minneapolis. Days before he was found dead, Prince's plane was forced to make an emergency landing for medical reasons and the singer was reportedly given a shot of Narcan, an opioid antidote.

A lawyer for two of Prince's late siblings, Lorna and Duane Nelson (who died in 2006 and 2011, respectively), said that both spoke with him about Prince's dependence on Percocet and cocaine, though those allegations have not been corroborated. Others have said that while Prince steered clear of most illicit substances, he took painkillers for his hip, which hurt from years of performing. Many close to Prince, however, including his longtime lawyer and former manager, L. Londell McMillan, ex-girlfriend, friend and longtime collaborator Sheila E. and his driver, have all denied any rumors of substance abuse.

The autopsy to determine Prince's cause of death was inconclusive, but the Midwest Medical Examiners Office is still awaiting the return of toxicology tests, which could take weeks.