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Sheriff says Prince was discovered alone; autopsy results could take weeks

Sheriff Jim Olson says there was no music playing when he arrived at Paisley Park on Thursday morning

Sheriff Jim Olson says there was no music playing when he arrived at Paisley Park on Thursday morning

Little is known about Prince's final moments Thursday at his Paisley Park compound in Chanhassen, Minnesota.  

In a press conference conducted Friday at the Carver County Government Center, Carver County Sheriff Jim Olson provided the following account of the events early Thursday:

Just before 10 a.m., Prince’s people became worried after not hearing from him since about 8 p.m. Wednesday. Prince didn’t pick up calls. His staff arrived at Paisley Park to search for him. They found him unresponsive in the elevator on the first floor. Despite efforts from first responders to revive him, Prince was soon declared dead.

Prince was alone at Paisley Park, Olson confirmed. That didn’t seem unusual, considering Prince was "a very private person." He didn’t seem to have a phone within reach in the elevator. His body showed no signs of violent trauma.

There was no suicide note, Olson said, and the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office has no reason to suspect suicide. All other possibilities remain on the table. Prince’s autopsy was completed Friday at about 1 p.m. His body has since been released to his family.

The complete lab results from the autopsy may take days or weeks, according to Martha Weaver, a spokesperson for the Midwest Medical Examiner's Office.

More questions remained unanswered Friday as Olson repeatedly stressed that the investigation is only 30 hours old.

It’s not clear whether Prince had been in the elevator overnight, whether he had been taking any medication at the time of his death, or if police took any items from Paisley Park. A search warrant was executed, but it will not be available to the public for another week and a half.

The Sheriff’s Office does have surveillance videos and interviews with staff. Olson confirmed that Prince did not make any medical emergency calls for himself within the past year, though there have been a number involving fans after concerts.

Olson says mourners will be allowed to gather near Paisley Park. Closures of surrounding roads will continue until Monday.

“How many of you were fans?” Weaver asked the room full of reporters at the conclusion of the press conference. A tide of hands went up. 

“For our generation, he was the songbook and the narrative for some of the greatest moments of our individual lives," she said. "This is something that we will take very, very seriously.”