Police: Chris Cornell found dead with 'band around his neck'

Chris Cornell, whose band Soundgarden was one of the architects of grunge music, was found dead early today in his MGM Grand hotel room in downtown Detroit.

Police said the 52-year-old musician's death was being investigated as a possible suicide.

"Based on our observations at the scene, we are investigating it as a possible suicide," said Michael Woody, Detroit police media relations director told the Free Press. "We’re not saying specifically why.”

Police received a 911 call just after midnight from a family friend, who was conducting a well being check on Cornell, Woody said. He went into the room, found Cornell unresponsive on the bathroom floor and called 911.

Another spokesman for the Detroit Police Department earlier told the Free Press that Cornell was found unresponsive on the floor of his hotel room with a band around his neck.

A representative for Cornell, Brian Bumbery, said in a statement that the death was “sudden and unexpected.’’ He added that the family would be “working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause of death.’’

The group played at the Fox Theatre hours before his death.

Cornell took to Twitter Wednesday night announcing that the group had just arrived in Detroit, and a clip of the groups 2012 release “By Crooked Steps” was posted to his official Facebook page before he was later found in his hotel room, the New York Times reported.

Dontae Freeman, digital media relations manager for the Detroit police department, told the Free Press Cornell's body was discovered after his wife called a family friend and asked him to check on Cornell.

That family friend went to the door, forced himself into the room and found the victim unresponsive.

“He was found in his room with a band around his neck," Freeman said.

Cornell was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

“We’re not going to release much until we get a report back from the medical examiner’s office,” Woody said.

Lisa Croff, of the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, said they have Cornell’s body and expect to release more information later this afternoon. The medical examiner received the body Thursday morning.

The New York Times reported that Cornell had admitted in interviews to struggling with drug use throughout his life.

In a 1994 Rolling Stone article, he described himself as a “daily drug user at 13,’’ who had quit by the time he had turned 14.

After the band broke up in 1997. Cornell returned to heavy drug use, he told The Guardian in a 2009 interview. He described himself in that article as a “pioneer” in the abuse of the opiate OxyContin, saying he had gone to rehab.

© Gannett Co., Inc. 2017. All Rights Reserved


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