No criminal charges will be filed in the 2016 death of pop star Prince from an opioid overdose, a Minnesota prosecutor said on Thursday.
“We simply do not have sufficient evidence to charge anyone with a crime related to Prince's death,” Carver County Attorney Mark Metz told a news conference following a two-year inquiry.
Prince, 57, was found dead at his Paisley Park home and recording studio complex near Minneapolis on April 21, 2016. The official cause of death was a self-administered overdose of the painkiller fentanyl, which is 50 times stronger than heroin.
Metz said the musician died after taking a counterfeit Vicodin pill laced with fentanyl.
“Nothing in the evidence suggests Prince knowingly ingested fentanyl,” Metz said, adding that there was “no evidence that the pills that killed Prince were prescribed by a doctor.”
“There is no reliable evidence showing how Prince obtained the counterfeit Vicodin laced with fentanyl or who else may had a role in delivering the counterfeit Vicodin to Prince,” Metz said.
Investigators found evidence that Prince suffered from severe pain for a number of years and that hundreds of various sorts of painkillers were found in his residence, according to Metz.
The probe included searches of Prince's computer, mobile phone records of his friends and interviews with associates. Some of the pills were prescribed to his bodyguard, Metz said, to protect the singer's privacy.
Prince, known for his androgynous style and sexually charged songs, crafted a public image of living a clean and healthy vegan lifestyle.