It’s been more than six years since the death of actress Brittany Murphy, and fans — as well as family members — still have questions about what led to her death. While many believe it was far from accidental, the Los Angeles County Coroner has no plans to dive back into the case any time soon.
In an interview with E! News, Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said that a lot of solid evidence would be needed to open the case again. He told the publication it would take someone coming forward with “something like a confession” to merit re-examining their preliminary findings.
Winter told E! that if law enforcement officials did order the case to be looked at again, it would be much more complicated than simply going over evidence. Murphy’s body would have to be exhumed. He said that nothing in the initial autopsy report seemed alarming or pointed to poisoning. Winter told E! “[The levels] weren’t off the charts,” nor were they “consistent with poison.” He claimed his team was open to further investigation but didn’t feel that it was necessary.
“We would have to have direct evidence. In all honesty, it would take something like a confession. Something connecting somebody with it,” Winter said.
Lately there has been renewed interest in Murphy’s death, largely sparked by “Hollywood Medium” star Tyler Henry channeling the deceased actress during a January episode of his E! series. Henry sat down with actress Jaime Pressly, who was once close friends with Murphy, who was 32 years old at the time of her death. During the “Mom” star’s reading, Henry revealed that a “younger woman” was stepping forward. He claimed that he was unsure whether or not he wanted “to bring this person through.” Henry told Pressly the woman was suggesting that she “passed away too soon.” He added that she was creating a painful feeling in his lungs and making him feel “strange” in both a mental and physical sense.
“She’s blaming an outside influence,” Henry explained. “And saying that she was in a very manipulative situation where I actually feel like an outside person was detrimental in influencing a lot of her actions in certain areas. There is a reference to a ‘B’ initial.”
According to a report released in 2013 — nearly four years after her death — traces of 10 heavy metals were found in Murphy’s body after her death. The levels of the metals in her body coupled with the symptoms she experienced prior to her death left some wondering whether or not it was possible that she could have ingested rat poisoning, which contains similar ingredients. Both Murphy and her husband, who died just months later in a similar manner, experienced headaches, dizziness and disorientation prior to their passing.
“Ten of the heavy metals evaluated were detected at levels higher than the WHO [The World Health Organization] high levels. Testing the hair strand sample identified as back of the head, we have detected 10 heavy metals at levels above the WHO high-levels recommendation,” the report stated. “If we were to eliminate the possibility of a simultaneous accidental heavy metals exposure to the sample donor, then the only logical explanation would be an exposure to these metals [toxins] administered by a third-party perpetrator, likely criminal intent.”
Murphy died in December 2009. The “Uptown Girls” star was found inside her home, and pneumonia was ruled her official cause of death. Five months later, in May 2010, Murphy’s husband Simon Monjack was found dead in his home. He, too, was said to have died from pneumonia. The pair were buried side-by-side.