Police Probe Death of Actress Brittany Murphy

Brother of the actress says family is devastated by her death at age 32.

ByABC News
December 21, 2009, 2:21 PM

Dec. 21, 2009— -- Brittany Murphy's autopsy has been concluded as of 5 p.m. ET Monday, Chief Coroner Ed Winter told ABC News.com. Winter said it will be four to six weeks before laboratory results are in and the official cause of death can be determined.

Winter confirmed that several legal prescription medications – all made out to Murphy – were recovered from her apartment and taken in as evidence.

"No foul play is suspected," Winter said. He told the Associated Press that the cause of death "appears to be natural."

The 32-year-old actress once considered a rising star in Hollywood died Sunday, after suffering cardiac arrest at her home. The star of "Clueless" and "8 Mile" was taken to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and pronounced dead on arrival at 10:04 a.m.

The Los Angeles Police Department has launched an investigation into Murphy's death, LAPD spokeswoman Norma Eiseman said. Officers from the robbery and homicide division were called in, as they are in most high profile cases, to go to Murphy's home and Cedars-Sinai Hospital.

Through the day, Murphy's friends and family, including Murphy's sister, arrived at the house on Rising Glen Road in the hills above the Sunset Strip, where the actress lived with her husband, British screen-writer Simon Monjack.

Nicole Perna, Murphy's publicist, said in a statement Sunday night, "In this time of sadness, the family thanks everyone for their love and support. It is their wish that you respect their privacy."

Jeff Bertolotti, Murphy's half brother by father Angelo Bertolotti, said the family is devastated by the news.

"I haven't seen my little sis for eight years or so now due to family issues and Hollywood politics, but never have I lost my heart for that sweet little child," Jeff Bertolotti said in an e-mail to ABCNews.com. "I knew the decisions made in reference to severing ties with this side of the family were done on her behalf out of her mother's love. I'm just so sorry myself, my brother Tony, and my baby sister Pia got caught in the crossfire. A lot of love may have been cultivated, but who knew we would not get the chance to catch up down the road?

"As for me, I'm torn up inside beyond belief," he continued. "It's just not natural for a man of 54 to see his kid sister of 32 leave in such an abrupt manner as this. The loss is just unbearable to us all....I never thought in a million years she would cross the bridge before me, it just shouldn't be that way. It's just not the way we expect things to go and the disappointment and pain of this rude awakening is very hard to ingest."

Bertolotti said Murphy's recent work showed that she found her "true voice."

"The work was genuine and authentic," he said. "She made the jump from celebrity to artist, and my hats off to her for that. Britt's blood line is filled with the gift and passion of art, and thanks to her and her mother Sharon, many generations of this gift got a chance to be witnessed through Brittany.

"This kid really was a joy, and I hope the people who God entrusted her to did all the right things with her. Because God has no sense of humor when it comes to His Joyful children, and Britt was a joy-filled spirit. I woke up today after a horrible night of trying to sleep and the planet just looked a little less attractive without her in it."