Prince Search Warrants Unsealed, Answer Few Questions

by Jared Lewis April 18, 2017, 1:09

Authorities asked that the search warrants be sealed "until April 17, 2017 or when a criminal case may be instituted, whichever occurs first".

The day before Prince's death, Schulenberg prescribed three drugs for him: clonidine, which is used to treat high blood pressure and attention deficit disorder, and the anti-anxiety agents Valium and hydroxyzine pamoate.

A suitcase was discovered next to Prince's bed on the day he died and among the items inside, there were prescription pill bottles in Johnson's name - none of which were the medication prescribed by Schulenberg. No one has been charged with a crime in connection with Prince's death.

FILE - In this February 4, 2007, file photo, Prince performs during the halftime show at the Super Bowl XLI football game in Miami.

The details from those documents show the possible direction of the criminal investigation into Prince's accidental overdose death nearly exactly a year ago, a death that left fans around the world heartbroken and bewildered.

Police were summoned to the artist's Paisley Park estate after he was found dead in an elevator on the morning of April 21, 2016.

Almost a year after Prince died from an accidental drug overdose in his suburban Minneapolis studio and estate, investigators still don't know how he got the fentanyl that killed him.

Authorities conducted a second search more than two weeks after Prince died and recovered more evidence, including numerous counterfeit pills, the official said. Schulenberg said he placed the prescription under Prince's bodyguard's name, the documents state.

Some pills in other bottles were marked as if they were a mix of acetaminophen and hydrocodone - but at least one of those tested positive for fentanyl, meaning the pill was counterfeit and could only be obtained illegally.

The documents suggest Prince was struggling with an addiction to prescription opioids.

In one of the warrants it is stated that Dr. Michael Schulenberg, a primary care physician who worked at a clinic a few miles from Prince's home, told police that "he had prescribed Prince a prescription for oxycodone the same day as the emergency plane landing but put the prescription in Kirk Johnson's name for Prince's privacy". His publicist reassured fans that the 57-year-old star was fine, but a May 6 search warrant said investigators spoke to a witness who said Prince was rushed to a hospital because he was unconscious, and that the singer had admitted to taking one or two pain pills.

While authorities have the power to ask a grand jury to investigate and issue subpoenas for testimony, that step hasn't been taken, the official said. Documents unsealed Monday don't say how Prince got the fentanyl that killed him, and Tamburino says finding the answer to that will be the target for investigators.

Prince stopped using a cellphone after being hacked, depending on email and a landline.

"The last thing law enforcement wants to do is to potentially have to immunize somebody who could be the only target of the investigation", former federal prosecutor Jeff Cramer said.

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