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Chris Cornell’s Widow Continues Death Investigation

Chris and Vicky Cornell
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

Vicky Cornell, widow of Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell, last week traveled to Detroit with a lawyer to continue her search for answers regarding the singer’s death in the Michigan city in May. Vicky scheduled a meeting with the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s office, local radio station WWJ Newsradio 950 confirmed, although the meeting didn’t take place and it’s not known if it has been rescheduled.

Cornell was found hanged in his room at the MGM Grand Detroit hotel following a Soundgarden show at the city’s Fox Theatre, soon after having spoken with a “slurred” voice to Vicky by phone. The death was ruled a suicide.

However, his family questioned the medical examiner’s decision. “We do not know what was going on with Chris or if any substances contributed to his demise,” they said in May via an attorney. “Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages,” based on what Chris said in that last conversation with his wife. The toxicology report later said that Cornell had the equivalent of four Ativan pills, as well as several other prescription drugs, in his system at the time of his death.

Ativan is known to increase suicidal thoughts among those who are suffering from depression. The radio station confirmed that Vicky had wanted to discuss Ativan with the medical examiner “regarding the possible effects on the singer’s state of mind,” although it was noted that the subject was “not the province of an ME.”

In June, the Detroit Law Department denied Vicky’s Freedom of Information request for details of their investigation. She said in a statement via her lawyer, “The family hopes there will be an end to speculation about the cause of Mr. Cornell’s death while the family awaits the definitive and complete reports.”

Two months ago, Vicky unveiled plans to have a statue created and placed in Cornell’s home city of Seattle, and also said she’d continue developing the Chris Cornell Music Therapy Program, having committed $100,000 to its support.

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