Prince’s Autopsy Report and Death Investigation

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Prince autopsy report
Photo courtesy of: jimi hughes from ballymena, n ireland - https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimieye/, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

This article provides an overview of the events surrounding the death of Prince Rogers Nelson, commonly known as Prince. I’ll cover the events leading up to his passing and the death investigation and provide information on Prince’s autopsy report.

Prince – The Consummate Entertainer

Prince was one of the most versatile and talented artists of his time. In addition to being a singer, songwriter, musician, and producer, he was a filmmaker and actor. During his prolific music career, he released over 40 albums and sold over 100 million copies. Prince received 30 Grammy nominations and won a total of eight times. Plus, he earned a total of six American Music Awards. Also, his most famous film, Purple Rain, won an Academy Award. In 2004, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him as an official member, solidifying his place as one of the greatest entertainers ever.

Prince’s Private Plane Makes Emergency Landing

On April 15, 2016, Prince was returning home on a private plane after a concert in Atlanta, Georgia. The crew noticed that he was unresponsive and made an emergency landing at the Quad City International Airport in Illinois. First responders found him unconscious on the plane. They administered Narcan, which is used to counteract an opioid overdose. Then, the paramedics rushed him to a hospital in Moline, Illinois.

Prince was Found Dead on April 21, 2016

On April 21, 2016, at approximately 9:30 a.m., Prince was found unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park studio/residence in Chanhassen, Minnesota. The person who found him called 911, and paramedics rushed to the scene. Initially, one of the paramedics speculated that he had been dead for about six hours by the time they arrived.

Then, paramedics tried to revive the singer by performing CPR, but their attempts were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, 30 minutes later, they pronounced him dead at 10:07 a.m. The Carver County Sherriff’s Department said there were no signs of suicide, struggle, or foul play, but they would wait for the results of Prince’s autopsy report for more information.

At the time of his death, he was at his Paisley Park residence located at 7801 Audubon Road, Chanhassen, Minnesota, 55317. He was 57 years old when he died. He was 63 inches tall (5’3″) and weighed only 112 pounds.

Prince’s Autopsy Report and Death Investigation

The Anoka County, Minnesota Medical Examiner’s Office completed the death investigation for the performer. The Medical Examiner’s Office distributed a press release with a copy of the report on June 2, 2016. The report explains the manner and cause of death.

The official autopsy report lists the cause of death as fentanyl toxicity. According to the official report, Prince administered the dose of fentanyl to himself. The report indicates that the death was an accident and not a suicide or homicide.

In addition, the report indicates that the Cremation Society of Minnesota cremated his body. His family and close friends buried him in a private ceremony. However, the burial place’s name and location are unknown.


There were no criminal charges filed concerning Prince’s death, but there were legal issues and investigations surrounding it. Please note that developments may have occurred since then. Here are some key points regarding the legal aspects:

  • Prince’s death in 2016 was initially attributed to an accidental overdose of the opioid painkiller fentanyl. The source of the fentanyl and how Prince obtained it became subjects of investigation.
  • Investigators found unlabeled pill bottles at Prince’s Paisley Park estate containing medications prescribed to him. The investigation focused on whether these medications played a role in his death and if they were obtained legally.
  • Dr. Michael Schulenberg, a local physician who had treated Prince and prescribed him medications, faced scrutiny. In 2018, he agreed to pay a $30,000 fine to settle civil charges related to prescribing drugs to someone else in someone else’s name.
  • In 2018, authorities announced that they would not file criminal charges in Prince’s death, and no evidence was found to suggest that he knowingly prescribed counterfeit medicine. This decision was based on the evidence available at that time.
  • Prince’s family filed a civil lawsuit against the hospital where Dr. Schulenberg worked, alleging medical malpractice. The lawsuit claimed that the hospital failed to appropriately investigate and treat Prince’s overdose in the days preceding his death.
  • Some legal matters were resolved through settlements. For example, the civil lawsuit against the hospital was settled in 2018 for an undisclosed amount.

View the Official Report

The official Prince autopsy report is on the Anoka County, Minnesota Medical Examiner’s Office website. The report provides the official cause of death and additional details about his physical condition.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about the official Prince Autopsy Report, please post a message below. To learn more about the artist, visit the Prince’s Wikipedia page.

Learn more about other celebrity death investigations.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including eInvestigator.com. Michael created eInvestigator.com more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at Amazon.com.

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