Autopsy: Billy Mays Used Cocaine Days Before His Death

Toxicology results confirm cocaine contributed to his death by heart disease.

ByABC News
August 7, 2009, 4:42 PM

Aug. 7, 2009— -- Cocaine was a contributing factor to the death by heart disease of TV pitchman Billy Mays, according to a toxicology report released today by the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's office in Florida.

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The report concluded that the 50-year-old had used cocaine a few days before his death.

Test results also discovered traces of the narcotic painkillers Oxycodone, hydrocodone and tramadol in his bloodstream. Small amounts of Xanax and Valium, as well as alcohol, were also detected.

Hillsborough County Medical Examiner Dr. Vernard Adams confirmed that Mays was taking the prescription painkillers Tramadol and hydrocodone for hip pain, and that pill counts showed he had been taking the correct dosages.

Cocaine can raise the arterial blood pressure, directly thickening the wall of the left ventricle of the heart, accelerating atheriosclerosis or fatty deposits on the artery wall, according to the Hillsborough County Medical Examiner's office.

The Oxy-Clean and Orange Glo pitchman died of a heart attack in his Tampa condo the night of June 27. His wife found him unresponsive the next morning.

A 911 recording captured a distraught woman, presumably Deborah Mays, saying she woke up next to Mays. "I went to roll him over and his lips are all purple," the woman said. "And he's cold."