Federal Officials Join Investigation Into Prince's Death | NBC New York

Federal Officials Join Investigation Into Prince's Death

No official cause of death has been announced

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    AP
    A published report says Prince's representatives called a California doctor to try to help him kick an addiction to painkillers shortly before his death.

    The U.S. Attorney's Office in Minneapolis is joining the investigation into the death of famed singer Prince, according to NBC News.

    "The US Attorney’s Office and DEA are joining the Carver County Sheriff’s investigation," the office's spokesperson said. "The DEA and US Attorney’s Office are able to augment this local investigation with federal resources and expertise about prescription drug diversion. While this remains an ongoing investigation, we will have no further comment.”

    Prince had arranged to meet a California doctor to try to kick an addiction to painkillers shortly before his death, according to a newspaper report published Wednesday.

    Prince's representatives called Dr. Howard Kornfeld on April 20, the day before the musician died, to seek emergency help, attorney William Mauzy told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

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    Mauzy, who is representing the Kornfeld family, said Kornfeld couldn't immediately meet Prince, so he sent his son Andrew on a flight from San Francisco that night to discuss treatment in a meeting planned for the next day. Mauzy said it was Andrew Kornfeld who called 911 when the 57-year-old's unresponsive body was found in an elevator at Paisley Park, Prince's suburban Minneapolis compound.

    Mauzy and Howard Kornfeld haven't responded to messages from The Associated Press on Wednesday morning. NBC News has not independently confirmed Mauzy's claim.

    A law enforcement official briefed on the investigation has told AP that investigators are looking into whether Prince died from an overdose. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to talk about the investigation. The same official also said investigators are looking at whether Prince had suffered an overdose when his plane made an emergency landing in Moline, Illinois, less than a week before he died.

    Federal law enforcement officials told NBC News prescription painkillers were found on Prince and in his home. It is unknown if they played a role in his death.

    Prince's longtime lawyer, Londell McMillan, has disputed reports suggesting the iconic singer had problems with drugs or that his death was narcotics-related.

    Kornfeld runs Recovery Without Walls in Mill Valley, California. His website describes the practice as "specializing in innovative, evidence-based medical treatment for chronic pain and drug and alcohol addiction."

    Mauzy told the newspaper that Prince representatives called Kornfeld the night of April 20 because Prince "was dealing with a grave medical emergency."

    Howard Kornfeld sent his son to explain how the confidential treatment would work, Mauzy said.

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    "The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan," Mauzy said. "The doctor was planning on a lifesaving mission."

    Mauzy said Andrew Kornfeld arrived at Paisley Park at 9:30 a.m. on April 21 and was one of three people who found Prince's body. Mauzy said it was Kornfeld who called 911. A record of the 911 call shows the caller didn't know the address of the compound and mistakenly said it was in Minneapolis, rather than in the suburb of Chanhassen.

    Authorities haven't released a cause of death. An autopsy was done the day after Prince's death but results, including toxicology results, weren't expected for as many as four weeks.

    Mauzy said Andrew Kornfeld had been interviewed by Carver County investigators. Deputy Sheriff Jason Kamerud didn't immediately respond to an email message before business hours Wednesday.