New details about Chris Cornell's death revealed by TMZ Thursday claimed the singer had fresh track marks on his arm when he was found dead in the bathroom of his MGM Grand Detroit hotel room last week Thursday. However, while authorities ruled the Audioslave and Soundgarden frontman's death as suicide, his family raised doubts over the findings.
According to TMZ, which cited sources, the track marks were "obvious" on Cornell's body. It had earlier been revealed the singer had a history of using drugs. The toxicology tests will reveal which drugs were found in his system.
Amid Cornell's family putting out a statement saying he may have taken more Ativans than prescribed to him, another witness who saw him during his final performance also hinted at a drug overdose causing his death.
Ativan is a drug primarily prescribed for treating seizure disorders like epilepsy, though it can be prescribed for anxiety as well. Side effects however can include drowsiness, confusion, and depression, along with a tendency towards self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
In an interview with TMZ, Cornell’s tour manager and house engineer Ted Keedick revealed that he noticed something was definitely off about the singer during his final show in Detroit last week, and that he seemed “high” and “f----- up” while he was performing.
“Chris was out of character from note 1 of the show. I’ve never heard or seen him that way before, at least if we did not cancel a show,” Keedick said. “I’ve never heard his voice that way before. He was having serious control problems.”
Keedick’s account seems to coincide with the statements provided by both Cornell’s wife, Vicky Karayiannis and the family lawyer after his death was ruled a suicide.
“...When we spoke after the show, I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him,” Karayiannis said. “What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them intentionally by taking his own life.”
Though an initial autopsy officially determined his cause of death to be suicide by hanging, Cornell’s family is waiting for the toxicology tests result that could reveal any substance in his system at the time of his death. Cornell's funeral is set to take place Friday.
“Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris—or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages,” his family lawyer said in a statement. “The family believes that if Chris took his own life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”