It's been more than six years since actress Brittany Murphy suddenly passed away at the age of 32, and there are still numerous questions swirling about her death. At the time, the actress' untimely demise was ruled as "accidental," attributed to the combination of pneumonia, anemia and multiple-drug intoxication. Earlier today, E! Online published the results of their own investigation into the actress' death, which speculate that it may have been a homicide. US Weekly spoke with L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter, who confirms that it is possible the actress' case may be reopened as a homicide, but there are no plans to do so right now.
"If the police wanted to conduct an investigation or if somebody came to us and said, 'This is the following circumstances, did you guys find this or this?' then we would contact the law enforcement agency also and say, 'The family or somebody came and said that somebody confessed to actually putting some sort of poison in her food.' (For now) we have no plans on reopening the case."
Ed Winter also spoke to E! Online, who said they would need "direct evidence" or a confession to a crime for the coroner to reopen the case. As of now, no one has confessed to killing the actress, but over the past few years, new findings have cast some doubt on the actress' death being rules as "accidental." Brittany Murphy's father Angelo Bertolotti commissioned an independent lab report in 2013, which found "abnormally high levels" of more than 10 heavy metals, including barium, which is used in rat poison.
Forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht told E! News that the initial autopsy and toxicology reports made no mention of any "heavy metals," which means that Ed Winter and the coroner's office would have sufficient grounds to re-open the case, should they choose to. Winter explained that they determined the heavy metals came from the actress coloring her hair, and ruled out any sort of poisoning as the cause of death. Another mysterious aspect of the case is that Brittany Murphy's husband, screenwriter Simon Monjack, also died in their home under mysterious circumstances, just five months after the actress passed.
For now, it seems that Brittany Murphy's case won't be reopened, but it's possible that this new investigation will lead to new developments in the case. In the meantime, check out E! Online's full investigative report. Do you think there was foul play in the death of Brittany Murphy?