David Carradine Cause of Death Asphyxiation, Says Medical Examiner

Kung Fu actor David Carradine's June death was the result of asphyxiation, not suicide, a medical examiner hired by his family confirmed Thursday.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden was hired by the Carradine family to complete an independent autopsy after the actor, 72, was found dead June 4 in a Bangkok, Thailand, hotel room.

Police reported that the actor's body was found nude, with ropes around his neck, wrist and genitals, fueling speculation that he was killed while engaging in a dangerous sex practice called auto-erotic asphyxiation. Those initial reports were confirmed by Baden.

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"The cause of death was asphyxiation, an inability to breathe, now why that happened is still what we're working on," the examiner said, according to Reuters. "He didn't die of natural causes, and he didn't die of suicidal causes from the nature of the ligatures around the body, so that leaves some kind of accidental death."

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In the days after his brother's death, Keith Carradine expressed gratitude for fans' support as his family searched for answers. "This is a devastating loss for our family, and we greatly appreciate the compassion pouring in from all over the world," Keith Carradine said.

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