Coroner: Heroin, alcohol killed 'Glee' actor Cory Monteith

3:17 PM, Jul 16, 2013   |    comments
Actor Cory Monteith arrives at the 12th Annual Chrysalis Butterfly Ball on June 8, 2013 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images)
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By Arienne Thompson

The British Columbia coroner confirms that Gleeactor Cory Monteith died of an overdose of heroin and alcohol, the AP reports.

"There is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith's death was anything other than a most tragic accident," the coroner's office said in a statement Tuesday.

The 31-year-old was found dead at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel in Vancouver on Saturday after checking in there on July 6. Police expedited Monteith's autopsy and toxicology report Monday and said from the start that they suspected no foul play.

Police said Monteith had been out with people earlier, but video and electronic records from the hotel indicated he returned to his room by himself early Saturday.

This spring, Monteith had voluntarily checked himself into rehab to deal with substance-abuse issues, which he acknowledged struggling with since his teenage years.

In an interview with Parade magazine in 2011, Monteith said his drug use had spiraled out of control when he was a young teen and that he was "doing anything and everything, as much as possible."

In the last year of his life, Monteith had found romance with his Glee co-star Lea Michele, 26, and the couple were last photographed together on June 20 as they made their way through an airport.

Michele's rep issued a statement to USA TODAYTuesday on the 26-year-old star's behalf: "Lea is deeply grateful for all the love and support she's received from family, friends, and fans. Since Cory's passing, Lea has been grieving alongside his family and making appropriate arrangements with them. ... They are supporting each other as they endure this profound loss together. We continue to ask the media to respect the privacy of Lea and Cory's family."

Monteith's Glee co-stars and friends throughout Hollywood took to Twitter and other social media outlets Sunday to remember the late star. Fox also issued a statement about the actor's death: "We are deeply saddened by this tragic news. Cory was an exceptional talent and an even more exceptional person. He was a true joy to work with, and we will all miss him tremendously. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and loved ones."

20th Century Fox Television, which produces Glee, declined to comment on Tuesday's coroner's report.

Production on the Fox musical comedy is set to resume at the end of the month, but now the network faces several challenges, including how to handle Monteith's character Finn, whether the Sept. 19 premiere date will stick and shooting promos.

USA Today

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