Marin County authorities today said actor and comedian Robin Williams had hanged himself overnight, had a bloody pocket knife at his side, and had cuts on his left wrist when he was discovered inside his home yesterday morning.
His body was “cool” and rigor mortis was present after a personal assistant discovered him in his bedroom about 11:45 a.m. yesterday, said Lt. Keith Boyd, the assistant chief deputy coroner at the Marin County Sheriff's Office.
The assistant became concerned when he didn't respond to door knocking. According to Boyd:
At that time the personal assistant was able to gain access to Mr. Williams' bedroom and entered the bedroom to find Mr. Williams clothed in a seated position, unresponsive, and with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the closed closet door and door frame. His right shoulder area was touching the door with his body … perpendicular to the door and slightly suspended.
The knife at his side appeared to have blood on its closed blade, but it would have to be tested to determine if the blood belonged to Williams, Boyd said:
The inside of Mr. Williams’ left wrist had several acute superficial transverse cuts.
Authorities were called to the home of 63-year-old Robin McLaurin Williams at 95 St. Thomas Way in unincorporated Tiburon at 11:55 a.m. Monday, Boyd said. Firefighters from the Tuburon Fire Department pronounced him dead minutes later, at 12:02 p.m., he said.
His wife had last seen Williams about 10:30 Sunday night, when she “retired for the evening,” he said. At about 10:30 a.m. Monday she left the home believing that Williams was still asleep, Boyd said.
Toxicology (drug) tests could take six weeks to complete, but Boyd said the initial examination appears to conclude that hanging was the cause of the Oscar-winner's death:
The preliminary results of the forensic examination revealed supporting physical signs that Mr. Williams life ended from asphyxia due to hanging.
He also noted that “Williams had been seeking treatment for depression.”
It was reported that the comedian, who admitted having alcohol and cocaine problems in the 1980s, had gone back to rehab last month. He also reportedly went to back to rehab in 2006.
Williams was an avid runner and cyclist who once compared the high of long-distance running to that of cocaine (see video, above).
Yesterday his wife, Susan Schneider, said in a statement that “the world lost one of its most beloved artists and beautiful human beings.”