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Chris Cornell autopsy finds drugs didn't contribute to death

DETROIT -- Autopsy reports show Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell had sedatives and an anxiety drug in his system on the night he died by hanging himself in his Detroit hotel room.

The reports say the drugs didn't contribute to the cause of death but don't elaborate. The reports were released Friday by the Wayne County medical examiner, two weeks after the 52-year-old was found dead.

Dr. Theodore Brown says a resistance band was around Cornell's neck, and the other end was attached to a clip over the top of the bathroom door.

The report says there were sedatives in Cornell's body along with Lorazepam, a drug for anxiety. Cornell's widow, Vicky Cornell, has said the toxicology report might shed light on why he killed himself.

Vicky Cornell, Cornell's wife, said that when she spoke to her husband after the Detroit show, he told her he may have taken "an extra Ativan or two." According to lawyer Kirk Pasich, the 52-year-old musician had a prescription for the anti-anxiety drug. Ativan, a sedative, has side effects that can include drowsiness and dizziness, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Cornell was a leader of the 1990s grunge movement with Seattle-based Soundgarden -- with whom he gained critical and commercial acclaim. He also found success outside the band with other projects, including Audioslave, Temple of the Dog, and solo albums. Soundgarden's current tour kicked off in late April and was planned to run through May 27.

Vicky Cornell said her husband slurred his words when she spoke with him after the Detroit show. She said "he was different," and she contacted security to check on him.

"What happened is inexplicable, and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details," she said. "I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life."

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