Details surrounding Matthew Perry’s death remain limited as questions mount nearly two weeks after the “Friends” star died.
Dr. Michael Baden, former chief medical examiner of New York City, forensic pathologist and Fox News contributor, explained that while toxicology tests take time, information reportedly leaked by law enforcement may indicate that a full report is already completed.
“They’ve got pretty much 99% of what they’re going to get at this point as far as information goes, and they can release it now, or they can wait for a couple more weeks because they’re looking for some unknown drug,” Baden told Fox News Digital.
Perry died Oct. 28 after an apparent drowning in a hot tub at his home in the Pacific Palisades area of Los Angeles, law enforcement sources confirmed to Fox News Digital. He was 54.
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No foul play is suspected, and no illegal drugs were reportedly found at the scene. Perry was laid to rest on Nov. 3 at Forest Lawn Memorial Park.
Initial tests indicated that neither fentanyl nor meth was found in the actor’s system at the time of his death, according to TMZ, citing law enforcement sources.
“They might be doing microscopic slides, but it’s now about almost two weeks, so the toxicology should be finished,” Baden explained.
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“I imagine what they’re doing right now is discussing the findings with the prosecutor and the family, and that in good time it will be when they should release the findings.”
As Baden previously told Fox News Digital, “[O]ften [when there] is a great interest in a death, there’s delay to do a more extensive toxicology than normal.”
“They’ve got pretty much 99% of what they’re going to get at this point as far as information goes, and they can release it now, or they can wait for a couple more weeks because they’re looking for some unknown drug.”
A public records request filed by Fox News Digital with the city of Los Angeles seeking 911 audio recordings and transcripts on the day of Perry’s death was transferred to the city attorney’s office on Tuesday due to “unusual circumstances.” The 911 call was listed as “identified,” however, the audio is now under review and being advised for “redaction purposes.”
Fox News Digital contacted the city attorney’s office for comment.
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Defense attorney David Gelman told Fox News Digital, “All things being equal, any body camera footage, 911 calls, etc., would be deemed public records subject to release. The police could possibly seek to redact the video/audio.”
He added, “Anything short of full release, however, would require law enforcement officials to articulate a reason why they are redacting or denying release. By definition, these are publicly maintained records. Police would have to point to some exception to the general notion of release.”
“They might be doing microscopic slides, but it’s now about almost two weeks, so the toxicology should be finished.”
Baden noted that the release of toxicology results could be pending for many reasons.
“If it’s a drug overdose, they oftentimes – that itself will delay it,” he said. “They’re making a decision, and it doesn’t sound that there’s any reason the prosecutors should be involved with this. There’s no foul play unless it’s an illegal drug, and they’re trying to find out, you know, how he got the drug.”
MATTHEW PERRY CAUSE OF DEATH ‘DEFERRED’: CORONER
He added, “If there are illegal drugs, the police would be involved … how he got illegal drugs.”
The coroner initially listed “other significant conditions” as a cause of death, and he said Perry’s body was “ready for release” before removing his case from the county website.
“An autopsy was completed today, and toxicology results are pending,” a representative for the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner-Coroner’s office confirmed to Fox News Digital.
The “Friends” actor was already deceased when first responders arrived at the scene to find an adult male “unconscious in a stand-alone hot tub,” according to a release provided by Capt. Erik Scott. “A bystander had brought the man’s head above the water and gotten him to the edge, then firefighters removed him from the water.”
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Scott added that following a “rapid medical assessment,” the man was “deceased prior to first responder arrival” and that circumstances are under investigation by the LAPD and the L.A. County Medical Examiner.
The case has since moved on to the LAPD Robbery-Homicide Division, which is not uncommon as the agency often works with high-profile cases.
“Insofar as this has been sent to the RHD, it raises the specter that they are investigating possible foul play or the involvement of some other party,” defense attorney David Gelman said.
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“We don’t know this at this point. But the fact that they are hanging their hat on that fact suggests they don’t have something else to hang it on.”
In an October 2022 interview with the New York Times, the actor said he had been sober since early 2021, and in a Fox News Digital interview with Perry’s friend, who saw the beloved star one day before he died, she said he was “100% sober.”
Perry had been candid about his addiction and sobriety journey, and he previously founded the Perry House, a men’s sober living facility in Malibu, California, which he ran for two years before closing the business to find an easier access location to serve more members of the community.