The first search of Michael Jackson’s bedroom a day after his death found marijuana, skin-bleaching and hair-growing ointments, anti-insomnia pills and empty bottles of several anti-anxiety drugs, according to court documents unsealed Thursday.
A substance initially suspected to be tar heroin proved not to be a narcotic, according to a source with knowledge of the investigation. An affidavit, written by Los Angeles Detective Orlando Martinez, was used to outline probable cause for a warrant to search Jackson’s Holmby Hills, California, home on June 26. Martinez filed his report on what was found in the search five days later. While the documents may provide some insight into Jackson’s life, they appeared to contain nothing that would lend new insight into his death. Another sworn statement written by Martinez several weeks later — and made public earlier this week — provided a more extensive list of drugs found by investigators at Jackson’s bedside. That document also revealed that toxicology tests led the Los Angeles County coroner to a preliminary conclusion that Jackson died of an overdose of propofol, a powerful sedative he had been given to help him sleep. The latest release refers to suspicions by some members of Jackson’s family in the hours after his June 25 death that heroin might have been involved.
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“During the course of the investigation, family members of the decedent notified [coroner investigator] Chief [Ed] Winter that they located a quantity of tar heroin in a bag in the decedent’s bedroom located on the second floor of the residence,” Martinez wrote. He used this statement to justify a search of Jackson’s home because “there may be additional medications and/or narcotics at the location as well as the necessity to confiscate these items for the safety of the minor children.” A source with knowledge of the probe told CNN Thursday that a test later showed that a brown, sticky substance found in the search was not heroin. The source asked not to be named because the source was not authorized to speak about it publicly. In addition to listing two Baggies of marijuana, the detective’s report of what was found in Jackson’s home listed three vials of Latanoprost Plus Solution liquid. An online search found medical journal references to this glaucoma medication also used to stimulate hair growth. Jackson suffered permanent hair loss when his scalp caught fire while taping a Pepsi commercial in 1984. He was known to wear wigs in public after the mishap. Also listed on the detective’s report was Benoquin ointment, a medication used to lighten skin pigmentation in people with vitiligo, a skin condition.
Jackson’s dermatologist, Dr. Arnold Klein, said on CNN’s “Larry King Live” last month that he had treated Jackson for the condition, which causes irregular patches of white skin. “His was bad because he began to get a totally speckled look over his body,” Klein said. The coroner announced two weeks ago that the report on Jackson’s death was completed, but that police asked for it to be withheld until completion of the criminal probe.