Prince May Have Been Dead for Hours Before Body Was Found: Source

The iconic singer was found at his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota.

ByABC News
May 22, 2016, 10:39 AM

— -- Prince, who was found unresponsive in an elevator inside his Paisley Park estate in Minnesota in April, may have been dead for hours before his body was discovered, a source confirmed to ABC News.

Minneapolis' Star Tribune first reported that the late singer was likely "dead for at least six hours."

Prince died April 21. He was 57.

A paramedic who responded to the scene told law enforcement, Prince's staff, and others that detail, adds the newspaper.

The music legend's cause of death has not yet been announced, though an autopsy was performed April 22 and results of toxicology tests are expected in the coming weeks.

According to the Midwest Medical Examiner's office, Prince's body was returned to the family after the autopsy was completed.

Still, less than a week after the singer's death, authorities obtained a search warrant for Prince’s Paisley Park estate. The sealed paperwork was filed one day after law enforcement sources told ABC News that prescription drugs had been found in Prince’s possession and at his home.

Sources also told ABC News that investigators are looking into whether Prince died from an overdose and whether a doctor was prescribing him drugs in the weeks beforehand.

Investigators are especially interested in the circumstances surrounding the emergency landing that Prince's plane made in Illinois less than a week before the star died. At the time, his rep told ABC News that the singer had been rushed to the hospital in Illinois, where he was treated for the flu.

Days after his death, his longtime attorney L. Londell McMillan disputed suggestions that he had a drug addiction.

"People use medication. The question is, are you on meds in a dangerous way?" he said, noting that Prince was a vegan.

"Everybody who knows Prince knows he wasn't walking around drugged up," McMillan said. "That's foolish. No one ever saw Prince and said, 'He looks high.' It wasn't what he was about."

But there are more clues to what might have happened.

The singer's team contacted his client Dr. Howard Kornfeld, a California-based opioid-addiction specialist the day before he died, according to attorney William Mauzy.

Mauzy added that Kornfeld sent his son, Andrew, to meet with the singer, though when he arrived at Paisley Park, he, among others, discovered Prince unconscious in an elevator.

Meanwhile, earlier this month, a search warrant showed that Prince had met with another physician, Dr. Michael Todd Schulemberg, April 20 and April 7. Schulemberg was also present when the singer's body was discovered, since he was delivering the results of medical tests.

Prince's sister Tyka Nelson said in a Facebook post that the family will hold an official memorial in August.