The facts around Heath Ledger’s final hours continue to emerge while friends and family wait for the official cause of his death to be determined.
As the details of Ledger’s funeral arrangements continue to be worked out, Hollywood and the world mourns for the loss of the talented actor.
Media reports spun across the Net since Ledger was found dead on Tuesday have been strewn with inaccuracies and wild speculation regarding the circumstances of the actor’s death.
Now the true details of Ledger’s last hours are beginning to emerge, provoking questions about how those at the scene handled the tragedy.
In contrast to earlier media reports, pills were not found scattered around the bed in Ledger’s apartment.
Prescription bottles, including prescription sleeping medication in an uncovered bottle, were discovered at the scene.
Ledger’s body was found by a masseuse and a housekeeper at approximately 2:45pm on Tuesday after the actor failed to emerge from his bedroom for a massage appointment.
Ledger’s housekeeper, Teresa Solomon, told police she arrived at the apartment around 12:30pm.
She went to change a light bulb in the bedroom around 1:00pm and says she saw Ledger lying in bed, face down and heard him snoring.
Police officials stated masseuse Diane Wolozin arrived at Ledger’s apartment for a pre-arranged massage appointment.
She knocked on his bedroom door several times but received no answer.
After setting up her massage table, she attempted to wake Ledger and found him cold to the touch and unresponsive, according to the Associated Press.
The masseuse who found Ledger made three calls to actress Mary-Kate Olsen when she could not wake him, police said on Thursday.
Wolozin made the calls using a speed dial on Ledger’s mobile phone.
At 3:17pm she called Olsen for 49 seconds. She made two more calls, one lasting one minute and 39 seconds and one lasting 21 seconds, during a ten minute period. Wolozin then reportedly dialed 911.
The NYPD stated Olsen sent her personal body guards to Ledger’s apartment after speaking to Wolozin.
Paramedics arrived at the apartment at 3:33pm about the same time as the bodyguards and declared him dead at the scene three minutes later.
Police officials stated Wolozin called Olsen a final time at 3:34pm.
CNN reports paramedics did attempt to revive Ledger with CPR and a cardiac defibrillator, to no avail.
Police believe Ledger was likely already dead when his body was found and have ruled out foul play in his death. Authorities believe Ledger probably died between 1pm and 2:45pm.
The most likely cause of death is speculated to be an accidental drug overdose, according to the Associated Press.
Six kinds of medication were found in the apartment, including anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills.
A suspiciously rolled-up $20 bill was found at the scene, but subsequent tests revealed no traces of drug residue and no illegal substances were discovered in the apartment, according to The Times.
A publicist for Ledger told CNN he had been suffering from the flu and had recently been prescribed antibiotics.
An earlier report from TMZ.com stated the actor reportedly had pneumonia.
Ledger’s body will be likely flown to Perth, Australia to be buried, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
The actor’s family, parents Kim and Sally and sister Kate, will fly into New York on Friday.
They are expected to meet with the New York medical examiner who conducted Ledger’s autopsy after they arrive.
Ledger’s ex-fiancée Michelle Williams returned to New York on Wednesday with the couple’s 2-year-old daughter Matilda.
Williams’ mother Carla and former Dawson’s Creek co-star Busy Phillips were on hand to console the devastated actress.
The general manager of Manhattan’s Frank E. Campbell funeral home on the Upper East Side confirmed on Thursday that funeral arrangements for Ledger were underway, according to the New York Times.
A memorial service for Ledger may be held in Los Angeles before his father accompanies the body back to Perth.
Toxicology tests are expected to be completed within two weeks, which will hopefully reveal the cause of Ledger’s death.
Ann Turner © 2007 GayWired.com; All Rights Reserved
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