Robin Williams’ Preliminary Cause of Death Is “Asphyxia Due to Hanging,” Sheriff’s Office Says

Robin Williams
Robin Williams' preliminary cause of death is asphyxia due to hanging, the Marin County Sheriff's Office says Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

New details about Robin Williams' death on Aug. 11 have been revealed by the Marin County Sheriff's Office. In a press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 12, Lt. Keith Boyd told reporters that, while the investigation is ongoing, the Oscar-winning actor's preliminary cause of death has been determined to be "asphyxia due to hanging."

According to Lt. Boyd, Williams was found in his Tiburon, Calif., home at around 11:45 a.m. by his personal assistant, who became concerned when the actor failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door. Boyd told reporters that Williams was discovered in a "seated position," "slightly suspended" above the ground. There was also evidence, Boyd said, of superficial wounds on the inside of Williams' left wrist. 

Officials responded to the assistant's 911 call at 11:55 a.m. According to Boyd, it's unknown at this point when exactly he took his own life, but he was pronounced dead just after 12:00 p.m.

Per Boyd's timeline of events, Williams was last seen alive the previous evening at around 10:30 p.m., when his wife, Susan Schneider, went to bed. He retired to a different room in the house at some point that night.

As the investigation is still active, Lt. Boyd would not discuss whether there was a suicide note left at the scene. He did say, however, that information indicated Williams had been in treatment for depression. Toxicology tests will determine whether he had any chemical substances in his sytem.

Findings at this point are preliminary. The investigation is ongoing; a final cause of death will not be certified for several weeks.

If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

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