Prince had an “exceedingly high” amount of fentanyl in his body at the time of his death, according to a confidential toxicology report from the singer’s autopsy obtained Monday by The Associated Press. Prince was 57 when he was found dead in an elevator at his Paisley Park complex on April 21, 2016. The report found that the artist died of an accidental overdose of the drug, an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin.
“The amount in his blood is exceedingly high, even for somebody who is a chronic pain patient on fentanyl patches,” Dr. Lewis Nelson, chairman of emergency medicine at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School who is not connected to the investigation, told the AP. He called the report, which said the concentration of the drug in Prince’s blood was 67.8 micrograms per liter, “a pretty clear smoking gun”; it cites deaths of people with blood levels ranging from three to 58 micrograms per liter. It also said the level of fentanyl in Prince’s liver was 450 micrograms per kilogram, noting that concentrations greater than 69 micrograms per kilogram “seem to represent overdose or fatal toxicity cases.”
There was also what experts called a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl in Prince’s stomach, although there is no set level that causes death, owing to users’ differing tolerances for the drug.