Chris Cornell's suicide rocked the music world last month, leaving many distraught over losing the Soundgarden front man at such a young age. A newly released autopsy has provided some clarity on his final days, revealing that drug use was not the cause of his death.
The autopsy report, released by Michigan's Wayne County Medical Examiner over the weekend, concluded that while Cornell had drugs in his body at the time of his death, they did not contribute to his death by hanging. A professor of clinical pharmacy who spoke to the Associated Press said it would have been a reach to blame the combination of drugs and alcohol found in his body.
“When you mix that combination or cocktail," said Daryl Davies, "you can have drowsiness, you could be disoriented, but it seems like a stretch that you would hang yourself.”
This conclusion did not appear to sway members of Cornell's family. His wife Vicky previously expressed hope that the toxicology report would provide the family with clarity, and she seemed to double down on that belief in spite of the report's conclusion.
“Many of us who know Chris well noticed that he wasn’t himself during his final hours and that something was very off,” she said in a statement. "We have learned from this report that several substances were found in his system. After so many years of sobriety, this moment of terrible judgment seems to have completely impaired and altered his state of mind.”
Regardless of the cause of death, it's a shame to have lost such a tremendous talent at age 52. He had one of the defining voices of the grunge movement in the 1990s, and his work with Soundgarden and Audioslave will continue to live on long past his death.