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Reports: Prescription drugs found with Prince at death scene

Flowers on a T-shirt signed by fans of singer Prince at a makeshift memorial place created outside Apollo Theater in New York. AP photo

MINNEAPOLIS — Prescription drugs were discovered with Prince when he was found dead in his Paisley Park home in suburban Minneapolis, several news organizations reported.

ABC, NBC, CBS, and CNN, citing unidentified law enforcement sources, reported that prescription painkillers were found on the 57-year-old musician and in his home. The Star Tribune, also citing unnamed sources, reported that prescription pills were found but that it wasn’t clear whether they had been prescribed to Prince.

In addition, hollywoodreporter.com is reporting that a search warrant has been issued in association with the death investigation.

“A search warrant was issued on Thursday for the case, but it has been sealed, meaning specifics of where the search will take place and what is found will not be made public at this time. In new documents released by the sheriff’s office, data show authorities were called to Prince’s home for medical calls on Aug. 9 and again on Sept. 6 of last year. The exact nature of the medical calls is unclear.”

Prince died April 21. An autopsy has been performed, but results weren’t expected for three to four weeks.

The music megastar’s death came less than a week after reports that his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, as he returned after performing in Atlanta. TMZ, citing unidentified sources, reported that Prince was treated for an overdose of the painkiller Percocet.

Airport and public safety officials in Moline have refused to confirm that the plane that made an emergency landing in Moline was Prince’s aircraft, and heavily redacted incident reports released to The Associated Press under a public information request did not identify the person who was treated. Prince’s representatives have not responded to AP’s request for comment on the reports.

Carver County Deputy Sheriff Jason Kamerud declined to comment Thursday on the reports of drugs found at Paisley Park, and told AP that he strongly disputed reports by several media outlets that investigators had asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration for help in the case.

“We have not asked them for help, or asked them to be a part of the investigation,” Kamerud said. “We might contact them to help us, but that hasn’t happened. We don’t have the medical examiner’s report yet. We don’t know to what extent pharmaceuticals could be a part of this.”

Leo Hawkins, a DEA spokesman in Chicago, said he had no comment.

Prince’s death came two weeks after he canceled concerts in Atlanta, saying he wasn’t feeling well. He played a pair of makeup shows April 14 in that city. Prince was scheduled to perform two shows in St. Louis but canceled them shortly before his death due to health concerns.

Longtime friend and collaborator Sheila E. has told the AP that Prince had physical issues from performing, citing hip and knee problems that she said came from years of jumping off risers and stage speakers in heels.

Associated Press