Leslie Jordan’s cause of death ‘deferred’ by L.A. coroner pending more investigation
The coroner for Los Angeles County said a medical examiner was reviewing evidence in the L.A. artist’s death, but will not make a determination on it until the city prosecutor reports on the coroner’s findings.
“I feel there are still some missing pieces here, and that’s really important for me to see before I make a determination,” Los Angeles County deputy coroner Mark Tarlov said.
Jordan’s body was found in December with a gunshot wound to the head in the hallway outside her suite at the Beverly Hills Hotel, where she was on an exhibit tour. She was 42.
An initial coroner’s report listed the cause of death as “suffocation by ligature” — a method of lethal self-immolation, which is often used as a suicide technique. It said the medical examiner was reviewing the report and determining whether to continue autopsies and to use methods other than the ligature method.
Tarlov said Thursday that he thinks the coroner’s report should be classified as non-classified, because the method of death was classified as ligature strangulation.
But the report said the cause of death was consistent with “suffocation by ligature,” which is a form of drowning.
“I cannot make any definitive statement as to the cause of death at this time,” Tarlov said at a news conference Thursday at the coroner’s office. “I know we will probably be in a situation where we will have to defer.”
Tarlov said the medical examiner’s office will begin to review the evidence in Jordan’s case and then send the file to the prosecutor’s office for review as well.
He said the medical examiner’s office is likely to request additional testing.
The coroner is working with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges should be filed in Jordan’s death.
“The coroner’s office is working with the District Attorney’s Office to review the information and determine whether a case should be filed,” Tarlov said.
Jordan’s body has been moved from its original location pending the outcome of coroners office review of