A newly released toxicology report suggests that the death of actress Brittany Murphy, who passed away in 2009 at the age of 32, may have been the result of heavy metal poisoning.
The Los Angeles Police Department originally ruled the “Clueless” star’s death as accidental, citing the official cause to be a combination of multiple drug intoxication, pneumonia and iron deficiency anemia. Her husband, British director Simon Monjack, mysteriously died five months later of the same causes.
Murphy’s parents deny claims that their daughter was addicted to drugs at the time of her death. Her father, Angelo Bertolotti, sued the L.A. Coroner’s Office and Police Department last year in order to obtain samples of Murphy’s hair, blood and tissue for independent testing.
Though the lawsuit was eventually dismissed, Bertolotti was reportedly able to secure the samples anyway and had them sent to the Carlson Company in Colorado for testing.
The subsequent lab report, which was obtained by The Examiner, says that higher than normal levels of 10 separate heavy metals were detected in a sample of Murphy’s hair. It also alleges that barring the possibility of “a simultaneous accidental heavy metals exposure,” the only plausible explanation would be that the metals were “administered by a third party perpetrator with likely criminal intent.”
According to The Examiner, heavy metals similar to those found in Murphy’s hair are common in rat-killing rodenticides and other various insecticides.
The site also claims that both Murphy and Monjack exhibited several symptoms of heavy metal poisoning —which include “headache, dizziness, gastrointestinal, neurological, respiratory, or dermal symptoms such as abdominal cramps, tremors, tachycardia, sweating, disorientation, coughing, wheezing, congestion, and pneumonia” — shortly before their deaths.
Despite the findings, L.A. Chief Coroner Investigator Craig R. Harvey has revealed to the Huffington Post that there are no plans to reopen the investigation into Murphy’s death.
“The Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner has no plans to reopen our inquiry into the deaths. We stand by our original reports,” he said in an official statement. “We have not been presented any [third] party lab test results for analysis, so we are unable to comment on publicized reports of private lab tests.”
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