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Wednesday, April 7, 2010 as of 11:14 AM ET

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  • Accidental overdose eyed in Brittany Murphy's death following discovery of pills, source says


    Large amounts of prescription drugs were found in Brittany Murphy’s bedroom when paramedics were called to her Los Angeles home on Sunday, a law enforcement source close to the investigation into the 32-year-old actress’ sudden death confirmed to Tuesday.

    “A check of the nightstands revealed large amounts of prescription medication in the decedent’s name,” TMZ first reported after reviewing what they say were notes made by an investigator from the L.A. County Coroner’s office. “Also noted were numerous empty prescription medication bottles in the decedent’s husband’s name, the decedent’s mother’s name, and unidentified third party names.” can exclusively report that investigators are focusing on Murphy’s drug use, and that the working theory of her cause of death is accidental overdose, according to the law enforcement source.

    EXCLUSIVE: Brittany Murphy’s Final Interview.

    Investigators are waiting to see what combination of drugs was in her system, and if other non-prescription drugs are revealed in the toxicity report, the source says.

    Heroin and cocaine are among the drugs being tested for because of reports of Murphy’s alleged past abuse of both, the source adds.

    The Los Angeles County Coroner did not respond immediately for a request for comment.

    However, Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told Fox News that they did not find any illegal drugs in Murphy’s residence. 

    He also said his office is investigating how TMZ obtained their information on the Murphy investigation.

    “We are looking into possible discipline for whoever leaked information from her autopsy report,” he told Fox News. “I cannot confirm the list of prescription drugs on’s website, but I can tell you that they do have a partial report, and that’s a problem, because the notes for this report were on a secure hold.” 

    EXCLUSIVE: Brittany Murphy’s ‘Hollywood Demons.’

    The medications found in the Murphy’s bedroom included:

    - Topamax

    - Methylprednisolone

    - Fluoxetine

    - Klonopin

    - Carbamazepine

    - Ativan

    - Vicoprofen

    - Propranolol

    - Biaxin

    - Hydrocodone

    - Vitamins.

    A law enforcement source also confirmed to TMZ’s account of the frantic efforts to revive Murphy by her mother, Sharon, and her husband, Simon Monjack, before paramedics arrived.

    Citing the same L.A. Coroner’s Office official’s notes, the website said the actress went into the bathroom alone early Sunday morning. Her mother found her unresponsive on the floor a half-an-hour later. Monjack responded to her mother’s screams, and put Brittany Murphy in the shower to try to revive her while her mother called 911.

    EXCLUSIVE: Was Simon Monjack ‘Bad News’?

    Murphy “had been complaining of shortness of breath and severe abdominal pain” for the previous 7 to 10 days, TMZ quoted from the notes.

    Authorities said Monday it appeared actress Brittany Murphy died of natural causes after becoming ill with flulike symptoms in the days before she collapsed in the bathroom of her Hollywood Hills home.

    Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said an autopsy had been conducted and officials were awaiting the results of toxicology and tissue testing before determining an official cause of death.

    It could take up to six weeks before a determination is made public.

    Paramedics tried to revive Murphy early Sunday, but she was pronounced dead at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. The hospital said she died of cardiac arrest.

    The autopsy found no signs of trauma to the body of the 32-year-old star of “Clueless” and “8 Mile.”

    Police did not suspect foul play.

    - The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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