CARVER COUNTY, Minn. (KMSP) - An autopsy report obtained by the Associated Press shows there were abnormally high levels of fentanyl in Prince's blood when he died nearly two years ago.
“It’s a pretty astonishingly high concentration of fentanyl in the blood,” said Dr. Jon Cole, the medical director of the Minnesota Poison Control System at Hennepin Healthcare.
He says the reported fentanyl concentration of 67.8 micrograms per liter in Prince's blood is at least 30 times higher than it would be for a normal patient taking fentanyl for pain relief.
“That number is so large, that no matter which route the drug was administered or taken, whether it’s oral, through the skin, intravenous, that concentration is enormously high,” said Dr. Cole.
Search warrants obtained after Prince's death showed authorities found numerous pills in Paisley Park. The AP also reports lab results showed many of the pills tested positive for fentanyl.
Dr. Cole says the autopsy report is one piece investigators are using during the ongoing death investigation.
“You have to put the biologic numbers in the context of what we know about the patient themselves,” he said.
Prince's siblings are also seeking answers. They have gone to court to force Carver County law enforcement officials to release certain investigative reports in order to determine whether to file a wrongful death suit. According to the court filings, "They need the data to determine which theories they must assert in making a wrongful death claim, and who the potential defendants and insurers are."
A court hearing scheduled on that issue Wednesday morning. The family's attorney says prosecutors have agreed to release the autopsy and other files, but a judge has to sign off on it. The Scott County Attorney says he would make a decision on whether to charge anyone in a criminal case in the near future.