WHITNEY HOUSTON: la police confirme qu'elle a été retrouvée "inconsciente" dans sa baignoire

La police a confirmé lundi que la chanteuse Whitney Houston, décédée samedi à Beverly Hills à l'âge de 48 ans, avait été retrouvée "sous l'eau et apparemment inconsciente" dans la baignoire de sa chambre de l'hôtel Beverly Hilton.
La police s'est cependant refusée à évoquer les causes de la mort de la diva pop, alors que les spéculations vont bon train dans la presse, à la lumière de la dépendance bien connue de la chanteuse à la drogue et à l'alcool.
Dans un communiqué, la police a précisé que Whitney Houston avait été découverte vers 15H30 (23H30 GMT) et "sortie de la baignoire par des membres de son entourage".
"Les pompiers, accompagnés du service de sécurité de l'hôtel, se sont rendus dans sa suite. A leur arrivée, les secours ont constaté que Whitney Houston était toujours inconsciente et sans réaction", poursuit le communiqué.
"Il ont commencé la réanimation, mais n'ont pas pu la ramener à la vie", ajoute le texte. La mort de la chanteuse a été prononcée sur place vers 15H55.
Dans une conférence de presse lundi, le porte-parole de la Police de Beverly Hills, le lieutenant Rosen Hills, a précisé que "pour l'instant, l'enquête n'est pas criminelle" et que l'affaire était désormais dans les mains de l'institut médico-légal de Los Angeles.
Il a refusé de répondre aux questions sur les causes de la mort de la star, ou les médicaments trouvés dans sa chambre d'hôtel.
"Nous ne ferons aucun commentaires sur l'état de Whitney Houston, sur l'état de son cadavre ou sur l'état de sa chambre d'hôtel, sur ce que nous avons trouvé ou pas pendant notre enquête", a-t-il dit.
Il a ajouté que la police ne dirait rien de plus jusqu'à la publication des résultats des tests toxicologiques par l'institut médico-légal, qui devraient prendre plusieurs semaines.
Les médecins légaux ont précisé dans la matinée que l'autopsie du cadavre était achevée et que la famille pouvait désormais récupérer le corps.
Selon le site TMZ, la dépouille serait déjà en route vers l'aéroport de Los Angeles, pour être ramenée sans délai sur le Côte Est des Etats-Unis, où les funérailles pourraient se tenir vendredi ou samedi, selon CNN.
Interrogée par l'AFP, la porte-parole de Whitney Houston, Jill Fritzo, a affirmé qu'"aucun détail" ne serait communiqué "pour l'instant" sur les funérailles.

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LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Prescription drugs found in hotel room where Houston died but not large quantities.

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, officials said Monday as the regal pop star's family made arrangements to fly her body home to New Jersey for a funeral at the end of the week.

Authorities said that there were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma on Houston's body but that it could be weeks before the coroner's office completes toxicology tests that could establish the cause of death. The 48-year-old singer had struggled for years with cocaine, marijuana and pills, and her behavior had become erratic.

Houston was found underwater Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel by a member of her staff at about 3:30 p.m., hours before she was supposed to appear at pre-Grammy Awards gala, police Lt. Mark Rosen said. She was pulled from the tub by members of her staff, and hotel security was promptly notified, Rosen said. She was pronounced dead about a half-hour later.

"As of right now, it's not a criminal investigation," he said, refusing to release any further details. "We have concluded our portion of the investigation at the hotel."

Los Angeles coroner's assistant chief Ed Winter said there were bottles of prescription medicine in the room. He would not give details except to say: "There weren't a lot of prescription bottles. You probably have just as many prescription bottles in your medicine cabinet."

The coroner's office released the body to the family late Monday morning. Two people who spoke with Houston's family said the singer would be taken to New Jersey. The two, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak for the family, said Houston's family raised the possibility of a wake Thursday and a funeral Friday at Newark's Prudential Center, which can seat about 18,000.

Houston was born in Newark and raised in nearby East Orange. She began singing as a child at Newark's New Hope Baptist Church, where her mother, Grammy-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the music program for many years.

A sensation from her first album, Houston was one of the world's best-selling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s, turning out such hits as "I Wanna Dance With Somebody," "How Will I Know," "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You." But as she struggled with drugs, her majestic voice became raspy, and she couldn't hit the high notes.

On Monday, mourners continued to leave flowers, balloons and candles at the wrought-iron fence around the tall brick Newark church where she got her start. It sits near an abandoned housing project and the train line leading to New York City.

"She was an inspiration to everybody," said Gregory Hanks, an actor who grew up in the neighborhood and who dropped off a bouquet of flowers. He saw Houston perform at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center years ago.

"I grew up listening to her as a little boy, and to hear her sing, you knew she was special," he said.

___

Associated Press writers Chris Hawley in New York and Beth DeFalco and Dave Porter in Newark, N.J., contributed to this story.

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UPDATE: An official from the L.A. County Coroner's office confirmed that some prescription medications were found in the hotel room where Whitney Houston died, but not in large quantities.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associated Press that medications were found on the scene, but there weren't a lot of bottles as previous reports had claimed. Winter declined to give any specifics because of the ongoing investigation.

PREVIOUSLY: It's been two days since legendary singer Whitney Houston passed away at the age of 48 and details surrounding her death still remain largely unknown.

The singer was found submerged underwater in the bathtub of her Beverly Hills hotel room where she was pronounced dead, according to police. An autopsy was performed on Sunday; however officials say they are not releasing any information at the request of police who are investigating Houston's death, reports the Associated Press.

According to police reports, there was no indication of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma on Houston's body, but investigators are not ruling out any causes of death until the toxicology results are obtained, which may take up to six weeks.

Though details have yet to be released, TMZ reported that Houston's family was told by L.A. County Coroner officials that the singer didn't die from drowning, but from a combination of Xanax and other prescription drugs that were mixed with alcohol. The coroner's office reportedly informed the family that there was not enough water in the singer's lungs to indicate that she drowned -- meaning she died before she slipped underwater.

The Associated Press also spoke with members of Houston's family, who say the singer's body will be taken to a funeral home in New Jersey later today and services will be held at the end of the week. Speaking on the condition of anonymity, family members say they are considering holding a wake Thursday and the funeral Friday at Newark's Prudential Center -- an arena that seats about 18,000.

Houston was in Beverly Hills for producer Clive Davis' annual pre-Grammy party, held at the Beverly Hilton, Saturday night. In the days leading up to her death, Houston made several public appearances and was said to have been acting strangely; she was spotted skipping around a ballroom and doing handstands near the hotel pool, reports the L.A. Times.

After news of Houston's death broke, her daughter, 18-year-old Bobbi Kristina Brown, was rushed to the hospital early Sunday morning, suffering from stress and anxiety, according to a source close to the family. Brown was reportedly released on Sunday afternoon, and according to TMZ, she was rushed to Cedars-Sinai Hospital again late Sunday night, with sources claiming that Brown was "hysterical, exhausted and inconsolable."

News of Houston's death was met with an outpouring of emotion from family, friends, colleagues and fans. On Sunday, Houston's family released a statement about the singer's death. "We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Whitney," the family told JustJared.com. "This is an unimaginable tragedy and we will miss her terribly. We appreciate the outpouring of love and support from her fans and friends. -- The Houston Family."

Houston's ex-husband, Bobby Brown, who broke down crying during a concert when he learned the news of Houston's passing and cancelled his concerts to be by his daughter's side. He released his own statement to People: "I am deeply saddened at the passing of my ex-wife, Whitney Houston. At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina. I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family at this most difficult time."

On Sunday night, Jennifer Hudson paid tribute to Houston on stage at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards, singing a cover of "I Will Always Love You." At a pre-Grammy event, Hudson said the song inspired her, adding that she would "create duets with her because I wanted to sing with Whitney Houston." Hudson was reportedly in tears during rehearsals, but was able to make it through the performance.

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