Local California police said on Tuesday (12) that the 63-year-old actor and comedian died on Monday after appearing to have hanged himself in his bedroom.
Lt Keith Boyd of Marin County Sheriff’s Office told a press conference that preliminary cause of death was “asphyxia due to hanging.” Emergency services also discovered cuts to his left wrist. There were no signs of a struggle.
Toxicology tests will determine whether there were drugs in Williams’ system and results will become available in two to six weeks. Police will hold another press conference in several weeks once an investigation has settled on the final cause and manner of death.
Emergency services received a 911 call at approximately 11.55am PT on Monday (August 11) and arrived at Williams’ Tiburon home within five minutes. Firefighters from the Tiburon Fire Department declared the Oscar-winner dead at 12.02pm PT.
Lt Boyd outlined the chronology of events, saying that Williams was last seen alive by his wife Susan Schneider at approximately 10.30pm PT on Sunday night (August 10) before she retired to bed. It is unknown at what time Williams went to bed.
Schneider left the home at approximately 10.30am PT on Monday, believing her husband to be asleep in another room.
A personal assistant became concerned at around 11.45am PT and entered the bedroom after Williams failed to respond to knocks on his door.
The assistant discovered the body, in the words of Lt Boyd, “clothed, in a seated position, unresponsive, with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the clothes closet door and the door frame.
“His right shoulder area was touching the door, with his body perpendicular to the door and slightly suspended.”
The body was cold and there were several “acute, superficial” cuts on his inside left wrist. A closed pocketknife containing what appeared to be dried blood was found nearby. Tests will determine the identity of the blood.
The coroners department investigation confirmed Williams had recently been seeking treatment for depression. The entertainer had been vocal about his battles with drugs and alcohol over the years.