MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO/AP) — Almost one year after the passing of Minnesota music icon Prince, authorities have released new information in the events surrounding his death.
Authorities in Carver County released search warrants Monday morning, shedding new insight into the days before and after his death at Paisley Park.
The investigation reveals that detectives found a sizable amount of narcotics at Paisley Park, and Prince was not prescribed any of the substances that were found there, at least not under his own name.
During a search of Prince’s Paisley Park home, detectives located numerous narcotic controlled substances, some of which were in suitcase labeled “Peter Bravestrong” which is believed to be the alias that Prince used when he traveled. Also in the suitcase were handwritten lyrics to the song, “U Got the Look.”
Some of those narcotic medications weren’t in the right prescription bottles and were found inside over-the-counter vitamin bottles. A court document says a doctor prescribed oxycodone for Prince under the name of the musician’s friend to protect his privacy, though it is illegal.
Additional prescriptions at Paisley were made out to Kirk Johnson, Prince’s longtime bodyguard by Dr. Michael Schulenberg, who treated the singer a day before he died. Documents show investigators executed a search warrant at Ridgeview Medical Center, where Schulenberg worked. He was fired there, but has since found work again. Schulenberg’s attorney released a statement to WCCO:
“Dr. Schulenberg has been and remains committed to providing full transparency regarding his practice as it relates to the Prince investigation. Dr. Schulenberg has previously disclosed all information regarding his care and treatment of Prince to his former employer, law enforcement authorities and regulatory authorities in the course of his complete cooperation with the investigation of Prince’s death. There are no restrictions on Dr. Schulenberg’s medical license, and contrary to headlines and media reports published in the wake of today’s unsealing of search warrants relating to the investigation, Dr. Schulenberg never directly prescribed opioids to Prince, nor did he ever prescribe opioids to any other person with the intent that they would be given to Prince.
“In his nearly 19 years of practice, Dr. Schulenberg has provided the highest level of care to his many patients and has earned a reputation for being a caring and responsible physician. He has never sought public attention or celebrity, even in the face of the events of the last year, and will continue to make his patients’ health and wellbeing his first priority.”
These search warrants also indicate that the music super star had a history of going through withdrawals and investigators believe they were the result of prescription medication abuse.
Investigators also asked for access to a variety of e-mail accounts that Prince used, claiming those would shed more light on how Prince could have obtained the fentanyl that ultimately killed him. Fentanyl is a synthetic drug 50 times more powerful than heroin.
Prince reportedly did not use a cellphone after it was hacked and mainly communicated over e-mail.
Investigators also requested cell phone data at Paisley Park for the day before and day Prince died. According to the documents, people at Paisley Park were making and received repeated phone calls and texts immediately after they found Prince. Investigators wanted to know what was being said.
They later requested Johnson’s cell records specifically, citing his unrestricted access to Paisley Park. They say it’s reasonable “Johnson would have had knowledge of Prince’s abuse of prescription/narcotic medication.”
Johnson has worked with Prince since the 1980s.
Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park home on April 21.
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