NEW YORK - Tests have confirmed there was heroin in at least some of the scores of plastic packets in the New York City apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead, a law enforcement official said today, and authorities are working to determine whether the drug was mixed or tainted with anything else.
Medical examiners have not yet made an official determination of the cause of the 46-year-old actor's death, but police have been investigating it as a suspected overdose. Hoffman was found in a bathroom with a syringe in his arm, law enforcement officials have said.
A few details have begun to sketch a picture of his final day and the circumstances in which he was found in his apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village on Sunday. And questions have swirled about whether Hoffman's death could be linked to a potent blend of heroin and synthetic morphine that has been tied to deaths elsewhere, though as yet there are no official findings pointing to that scenario.
"The direction of the investigation is going to depend, in large part, on the findings of the medical examiner and the findings of the lab tests," chief police spokesman Stephen Davis said.
An autopsy began today, but results weren't expected until at least Tuesday, the city medical examiners' office said.
A friend had spoken to him by phone around 9 p.m. Saturday, in the last contact investigators are aware of anyone having with him, a law enforcement official said. The official said the actor's door was double-locked when his body was found around 11:30 a.m. the next day by the same friend and Hoffman's assistant.
In the apartment were at least four dozen small packets variously stamped with the ace of hearts and others with the ace of spades, two law enforcement officials said today. Tests of samples showed heroin in each type, one of the officials said.
The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk about the evidence gathered.
Authorities also found unused syringes, a charred spoon and various prescription medications, including a blood-pressure drug and a muscle relaxant, one of the officials said.