By Robyn Collins
The county sheriff investigating Prince’s death has enlisted the Drug Enforcement Administration for help, federal law enforcement officials have confirmed.
Following rampant rumors about Prince’s liberal use of the painkiller Percocet, officials say prescription painkillers were found in his possession when he died and in his house in Minneapolis, though drugs have not been cited as the official cause of death. An autopsy was conducted, but the medical examiner said it would take weeks before the results would be disclosed.
The DEA’s role will be to determine where the medications came from and what prescriptions Prince obtained, officials say.
After a law enforcement official told CBS News that prescription drugs were found in Prince’s possession at the time of his death, a source revealed that Prince began taking Percocet in 2006 when he first suffered hip pain from years of leaping around onstage. The source added that Prince has also suffered ankle and hip problems for years. The music legend had hip replacement surgery in 2010.
Prince’s longtime collaborator Sheila E. said she didn’t know anything about Prince taking pills, but stated “he was in pain all the time.”
“I mean, you think about all the years he was jumping off those risers,” she said. “They were not low — they were very, very high — and to jump off that … First of all, the Purple Rain tour and the way that they were stacked, he had those heels on. We did a year of touring [and] for him to jump off of that — just an entire year would have messed up his knees.”
The singer was pronounced dead shortly after being found unresponsive in an elevator on his Paisley Park estate in Chanhassen, Minnesota, last Thursday (April 21). His lawyers have denied that he died from an overdose. Prince was battling the flu for two weeks before his death.