Robin Williams apparently hanged himself with a belt
Investigators believe Williams, 63, used a belt to hang himself from a bedroom door sometime between late Sunday and when his personal assistant found him just before noon Monday at his home in California, according to Marin County Assistant Deputy Chief Coroner Lt. Keith Boyd.
Boyd would not confirm or deny whether Williams left behind a letter, saying that investigators would discuss “the note or a note” later.
The coroner’s investigation “revealed he had been seeking treatment for depression,” Boyd told reporters.
“He has been battling severe depression of late,” Williams’ media representative, Mara Buxbaum, told CNN on Monday. “This is a tragic and sudden loss.”
The autopsy completed Tuesday morning showed “no indication of a struggle or physical altercation,” which was consistent with the death being a suicide, Boyd said.
The personal assistant found Williams “clothed in a seated position, unresponsive, and with a belt secured around his neck with the other end of the belt wedged between the closed closet door and door frame,” he said.
Williams’ left wrist had cuts, Boyd said. A pocket knife was found near his body, and a red material consistent with dried blood was found on the knife, Boyd said. He said tests will be conducted to determine whether the substance is blood.
Williams was last seen alive at about 10:30 p.m. Sunday, by his wife, when she went to bed, Boyd said. He apparently went into a bedroom at an unknown time after that. His wife left the home at about 10:30 a.m. Monday, assuming Williams was still asleep.
Williams’ personal assistant, concerned because he wasn’t responding to knocks on his door, entered the room and found him dead at about 11:45 a.m., Boyd said.
It will take several weeks for toxicology test results to show whether Williams was under the influence of drugs or alcohol when he died, Boyd said.
The actor made at least two trips to rehab for drug treatment, including a visit this summer, and he underwent heart surgery in 2009.
Williams was remembered fondly by actors, comedians, fans, even the president of the United States — who described him as “an airman, a doctor, a genie, a nanny, a president, a professor, a bangarang Peter Pan (who) was one of a kind.”
“He made us laugh,” Obama said. “He made us cry. He gave his immeasurable talent freely and generously to those who needed it most — from our troops stationed abroad to the marginalized on our own streets.”
His loss was felt deeply in many circles, but no more so than his own family.
His wife Susan Scheider — a graphic designer whom he married in October 2011 — asked the world to focus “not on Robin’s death, but on the countless moments of joy and laughter he gave to millions.”
Others in his family, including his three children and an ex-wife, praised him as a warm, loving man who always tried “to bring joy to” those around him, as eldest son Zak noted.
“Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls I’ve ever known,” his daughter Zelda said. “… I know … not just my world, but the the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. We’ll just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again.”