UPDATED: The death of Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell has been ruled a suicide by hanging, the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office said in a statement on Thursday.
“The Medical Examiner has completed the autopsy on 52-year-old Chris Cornell, the Soundgarden musician who died last night in Detroit,” read the statement on its Facebook page. “The cause of death has been determined as suicide by hanging. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed. There is no additional information at this time.”
Earlier on Thursday, a representative for the Detroit Police told Variety that the death was being investigated as a suicide, although he emphasized that it was too early to make a definitive conclusion at the time.
“At 12 a.m. [local time], we received a 911 call from the MGM Grand Casino Hotel,” Detroit Police director of media relations told Variety. “It appears as though a family friend was checking up on Cornell at his wife’s request. He went to hotel and discovered him unresponsive on the bathroom floor. Police made the location with EMS, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
“At present our investigation is leaning toward the possibility of suicide, but we must wait for a medical report to determine the cause of death. At this time we cannot release too much information about what we observed in Cornell’s hotel room or what led us to this conclusion.”
Woody could not confirm media reports that Cornell had died of strangulation, although a different representative for the police told Variety that the singer was found with a “band” around his neck.
Cornell had performed with Soundgarden at Detroit’s Fox Theatre on Wednesday night, and local television reports say he was cheerful and animated during and after the performance.
A rep for the singer issued the following statement in the early hours of May 18: “Chris Cornell passed away late Wednesday night in Detroit, MI. His wife Vicky and family were shocked to learn of his sudden and unexpected passing, and they will be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause. They would like to thank his fans for their continuous love and loyalty and ask that their privacy be respected at this time.”