Bobbi Kristina Brown autopsy may help solve bathtub mystery

Bobbi Kristina Brown posing at the premiere of Sparkle in Hollywood, California on Aug 16, 2012.
Bobbi Kristina Brown posing at the premiere of Sparkle in Hollywood, California on Aug 16, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

ATLANTA (REUTERS) - Authorities in Atlanta said on Monday they will conduct an autopsy on Bobbi Kristina Brown in hopes of determining how the daughter of late singer Whitney Houston suffered the injuries six months ago that caused her irreversible brain damage.

The Fulton County Medical Examiner's office said it would be challenging given the time between the death of the 22-year-old on Sunday and whatever incident caused her to be found unresponsive in a bathtub in her Atlanta-area home in January.

"Interpretation of autopsy findings and other information will also be challenging. However, an autopsy could be helpful to address questions which may arise about the cause of her unresponsiveness and eventual death," it said in a statement.

Final results could take weeks.

Brown, 22, died on Sunday night at an Atlanta-area hospice where her family had placed her a month ago after giving up hope that she would recover.

The only child of Houston and R&B singer Bobby Brown, she was found face down in a bathtub in her home by her partner and a friend on Jan 31, 2015.


A US$10 million (S$13.7 million) civil lawsuit filed last month accused Brown's partner, Nick Gordon, of causing her "life-threatening injuries"and of stealing from her bank account while she was in a coma.

No one has been criminally charged in the case, which has been referred to the Fulton County District Attorney's Office for further review.

Brown's death came three years after her Grammy-winning mother, who had battled substance abuse, drowned in a bathtub in a Beverly Hills hotel at age 48.

Entertainment news website Entertainment Tonight, citing an unnamed family source, reported on Monday that a funeral for Brown was expected in Atlanta this week. It said her body would then be taken to New Jersey to be buried alongside her mother at a cemetery in Westfield. Representatives of the family did not respond to requests for comment on funeral arrangements.

Tributes have poured in for Brown, an aspiring singer who had struggled to cope with her mother's death.

Whitney Houston's cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, called Brown "a sweetheart", while entertainer Oprah Winfrey said on Twitter "Peace at Last!".

Film director Ava DuVernay tweeted that Brown "seemed to be caught in the web of celebrity upon arrival. Twenty two years. A sad end. May the sister have peace now".