A toxic combination of heroin and alcohol killed Canadian actor Cory Monteith, according to the B.C. Coroners Service.
The Glee star was found dead in his room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in downtown Vancouver Saturday morning.
Coroners said post-mortem tests, including an autopsy and toxicological analysis, found the 31-year-old died of “mixed drug toxicity”, including primarily heroin but also alcohol.
He had been expected to check out of the hotel that day but when he didn’t do so staff checked his room and found him dead.
The coroners service investigation is continuing.
“It should be noted at this point there is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith’s death was anything other than a most tragic accident,” said the statement from the Coroners Service.
Monteith had admitted to struggling from substance abuse issues in his past, and also checked himself into rehab in April.
He had been out with friends Friday night but surveillance video showed he returned to his hotel room alone.
The Vancouver Police Department – in a press conference following the coroners findings – said they would not release information about where Monteith was before he returned to his hotel room (around 2:15 a.m.) but said he was with one man and two women.
Cst. Brian Montague also said the VPD would not say what was found in the room, but added “there was evidence in the room that was consistent with drug use”.
“Unfortunately, a mixture of heroin and alcohol can be fatal, and this was another tragic overdose,” said Montague.
(The coroners service had not yet termed Monteith’s death an “overdose”.)
“Mixed drug toxicity,” Montague said, repeating the coroners’ words. “I would call that, if you’re dying of a mixture of drugs and alcohol, an overdose.”
The Vancouver Police Department says their investigation into Monteith’s death is now closed, and the case lies with the coroners service. They also said they would not be looking into who supplied Monteith any drugs, and did not know who the young actor’s supplier was.
“Dealing drugs is illegal, yes,” Montague said. “There’s no law in Canada where we can request charges against someone who’s provided drugs to an individual… There’s nothing – legally – in this situation that we can see that would cause us to pursue the investigation further.”
Monteith rose to fame as a star of FOX’s show Glee, playing character Finn Hudson. He was also in a relationship with co-star Lea Michele (who has since asked for privacy following Monteith’s death) and he was a noted huge Vancouver Canucks fan, often appearing as their games in Rogers Arena or in Los Angeles (with Michele in tow, and also in Canucks garb).
Fans and other celebrities have expressed their condolences and their sadness over Twitter and other online forums, and candlelight vigils and memorials are being held across Canada to celebrate Monteith’s life.
An impromptu memorial has begun outside the Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver, and a vigil is schedules for 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. Similar events are taking place in Toronto and Los Angeles, where mourners gathered at Paramount Studios on Monday night.
Westboro Baptist Church plans to protest Monteith’s funeral
Meanwhile, fans of Monteith are offended that a hardline Kansas-based anti-gay religious group intends to picket the funeral.
“Hell won’t be gleeful for Cory Monteith,” the extremist Westboro Baptist Church tweeted Tuesday, citing Glee’s cast of gay characters and themes as contributing to “sin.”
“The homophobic tweets describe Monteith as a perpetuator of Chris Colfer’s role as a gay teenager, Kurt Hummel, on Glee. They went on to say that he was “struck down by raging mad God.”
“The account also tweeted to all of the cast members of the showing, saying “Praise God Almighty” that Monteith was dead.
“Shirley Phelps-Roper, one of the more active spokespeople for the group, said that the church was “GLEE-ful over God’s righteous judgment.”