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Robin Williams' death: Marin County Sheriff's Dept. releases official statement

Robin Williams
Wikipedia

Regarding the death of actor and comedian Robin Williams, a prepared statement was released on Tuesday by Keith Boyd, a Lieutenant with the Marin County Sheriff’s Office who is serving as the Assistant Chief Deputy Coroner overseeing the day to day operations of the Coroner Division. The statement began by Boyd extending condolences to the William’s family on behalf of the Sheriff’s Office. In his opening remarks, he also said that he wanted the media present to refrain from asking questions until he completed the prepared statements. At the conclusion of the statement, he gave contact information for those requesting more information.

Boyd’s prepared statement read:

On August 11, 2014, at approximately 11:55 am, Marin County Communications received a 9-1-1 telephone call reporting a male adult had been located unconscious and not breathing inside his residence located at 95 St. Thomas Way in unincorporated Tiburon, CA. The caller was distraught and indicated an apparent suicide due to a hanging had taken place and rigor mortis had set in. The Sheriff’s Office, as well as the Tiburon Fire Department and Southern Marin Fire Protection District were dispatched to the incident with emergency personnel arriving on scene at 12:00 pm. The male subject, pronounced deceased by firefighters from the Tiburon Fire Department at 12:02 pm has been identified as Robin McLaurin Williams, a 63 year old resident of unincorporated Tiburon, CA.

Preliminary information developed during the investigation by Coroner Division personnel has revealed Mr. Williams had been seeking treatment for depression. Mr. Williams was last seen alive by his wife at approximately 10:30 pm on August 10, 2014 when she retired for the evening in a room in the house. It is unknown at this time when Mr. Williams’ retired for the evening in a bedroom in his home. At approximately 10:30 am on August 11, 2014 Mr. Williams’ wife left the home believing Mr. Williams to still be asleep. Mr. Williams’ personal assistant became concerned at approximately 11:45 am when he failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door. At that time the personal assistant was able to gain access to Mr. Williams' bedroom and entered the bedroom to find Mr. Williams clothed in a seated position, unresponsive, and with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the closed closet door and door frame. His right shoulder area was touching the door with his body was perpendicular to the door and slightly suspended.

Mr. Williams was cool to the touch with rigor mortis present in all of his extremities and livor mortis positioned appropriately for the position he was located in. The inside of Mr. Williams’ left wrist had several acute superficial transverse cuts. A pocket knife with a closed blade was located in close proximity to Mr. Williams. The pocket knife was examined and dry red material was located on the blade which appeared consistent to dried blood. It is unknown at this time if the dried red material is in fact blood or if it is Mr. Williams’ blood, but scientific testing will be conducted to evaluate its investigative value.

Mr. Williams was transported from the scene to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office Morgue by the Coroner Division pending a forensic examination which was conducted this morning prior to this press conference. The forensic examination, conducted by Dr. Joseph Cohen who is the Sheriff’s Office Chief Forensic Pathologist, did not reveal any injuries indicating Mr. Williams had been in a struggle or physical altercation prior to him being located deceased. The preliminary results of the forensic examination revealed supporting physical signs that Mr. Williams life ended from asphyxia due to hanging. Toxicology testing will be conducted to determine if Mr. Williams had any chemical substances in his system at his time of death. Toxicology results will not be available for approximately 2 – 6 weeks while the testing is being performed.

Please note this is an active investigation into the cause, manner, and circumstances of Mr. Williams’ death. The final cause and manner of death will not be certified until the conclusion of the investigation which is several weeks away. When the investigation is concluded and our final results are ready for dissemination a press conference will be scheduled.

I have received numerous requests for copies of the 9-1-1 and dispatch recordings as well as investigative reports. Please note each request will be handled in accordance to Public Record Act guidelines with response provided within 10 days.

Media inquiries should be directed to Lt. Keith Boyd at kboyd @marinsheriff.org. I will respond to email inquiries time permitting as I receive them.

Since word of Robin William’s death was released on Monday afternoon, persons across the globe have expressed shock. News and reaction of his death overtook all well-known social media venues including Facebook and Twitter. According to NBC News, President Barack Obama was among those quick to respond to the news.

President Barack Obama expressed condolences to the Williams’ family on Monday and called the famed actor “one of a kind.” Obama said that Robin Williams was an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan, and everything in between. But, he continued, he was one of a kind, arriving in our lives as an alien, giving reference to the actor’s role in the television “Mork & Mindy” – but he ended up touching every element of the human spirit.

Obama said that Williams made us laugh and made us cry, and he gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most – from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets. Obama concluded by stating that the Obama family offers their condolences to his family, his friends, and everyone who found their voice and their verse thanks to Robin Williams.