Coroner Releases New Details About Robin Williams' Death

Robin Williams committed suicide by hanging himself with a belt, the coroner said Tuesday in a press conference detailing the preliminary findings surrounding the actor and comedian's death.

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Robin Williams committed suicide by hanging himself with a belt, the coroner said Tuesday in a press conference detailing the preliminary findings surrounding the actor and comedian's death.

Marin County Assistant Deputy Chief Coroner Keith Boyd told reporters Williams' personal assistant found him in the bedroom of his Tiburon, Calif., home, with cuts on his wrist and a pocket knife nearby. The 63-year-old was found "in a seated position" with a belt around his neck, Boyd said, with the preliminary cause of death determined to be suicide due to asphyxia by hanging.

Williams was last seen by his wife at his home Sunday at 10 p.m. According to Boyd, she left the home Monday morning, and Williams' personal assistant grew concerned and went to find him when he hadn't responded. The emergency response team arrived at 12:00 p.m. Williams was pronounced dead at 12:02 p.m.

Boyd did not confirm whether Williams left a note, and said authorities will continue to investigate the death.

Below is the full statement:

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin 
County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call 
reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not 
breathing inside his residence located at 95 St. Thomas Way 
in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The caller was distraught 
and indicated an apparent suicide due to a hanging had taken 
place and rigor mortis had set in. The Sheriff’s Office, as well 
as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire 
Protection District were dispatched to the incident with 
emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The 
male subject, pronounced deceased by firefighters from the 
Tiburon Fire Department at 12:02 pm has been identified as 
Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of 
unincorporated Tiburon, CA. 

Preliminary information developed during the investigation 
by Coroner Division personnel has revealed Mr. Williams had 
been seeking treatment for depression. Mr. Williams was last
seen alive by his wife at approximately 10:30 pm on August 
10, 2014 when she retired for the evening in a room in the 
house. It is unknown at this time when Mr. Williams’ retired 
for the evening in a bedroom in his home. At approximately 
10:30 am on August 11, 2014 Mr. Williams’ wife left the home 
believing Mr. Williams to still be asleep. Mr. Williams’ 
personal assistant became concerned at approximately 11:45 
am when he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom 
door. 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 was perpendicular to the door and slightly

Mr. Williams was cool to the touch with rigor mortis present 
in all of his extremities and livor mortis positioned 
appropriately for the position he was located in. The inside 
of Mr. Williams’ left wrist had several acute superficial 
transverse cuts. A pocket knife with a closed blade was 
located in close proximity to Mr. Williams. The pocket knife 
was examined and dry red material was located on the blade 
which appeared consistent to dried blood. It is unknown at 
this time if the dried red material is in fact blood or if it is Mr. 
Williams’ blood, but scientific testing will be conducted to 
evaluate its investigative value. 

Mr. Williams was transported from the scene to the Napa 
County Sheriff’s Office Morgue by the Coroner Division 
pending a forensic examination which was conducted this 
morning prior to this press conference. The forensic 
examination, conducted by Dr. Joseph Cohen who is the 
Sheriff’s Office Chief Forensic Pathologist, did not reveal any
injuries indicating Mr. Williams had been in a struggle or 
physical altercation prior to him being located deceased. The 
preliminary results of the forensic examination revealed 
supporting physical signs that Mr. Williams life ended from 
asphyxia due to hanging. Toxicology testing will be 
conducted to determine if Mr. Williams had any chemical 
substances in his system at his time of death. Toxicology 
results will not be available for approximately 2 – 6 weeks 
while the testing is being performed. 

Please note this is an active investigation into the cause, 
manner, and circumstances of Mr. Williams’ death. The final 
cause and manner of death will not be certified until the 
conclusion of the investigation which is several weeks away. 

When the investigation is concluded and our final results are 
ready for dissemination a press conference will be 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.