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.