Vancouver Coroner Fast-Tracking Monteith Autopsy

flowers for Monteith
Photo by Patrick E. Vaillancourt

The results of this afternoon’s autopsy on the body of Canadian-born actor Cory Monteith will be fast-tracked, says the Vancouver coroner’s office, the preliminary results of which could be revealed this week.

“Due to the intense public interest in this case, we are expediting the toxicology,” said a spokesperson from the coroner’s office.

Monteith was found dead in a Vancouver hotel room shortly after 12pm on Saturday.

Earlier today, a spokesperson for the BC Coroner Service said that the actor’s scheduled autopsy may be pushed back while other information was being considered in the ongoing police investigation.

“Sometimes we’ll be able to find other information from history, from the scene, from medical records that give us a clear cause of death,” said Barbara McLintock, a spokesperson for the BC Coroner’s Service.

“If it does not, and we think that the autopsy is the way to go to get that definite cause, then that’s when we go to autopsy.”

McLintock now says that no new information had come to light to provide investigators with a clear cause of death and that an autopsy is being conducted.

“An autopsy and toxicology testing are necessary for the determination of the cause and classification of death of Mr. Monteith,” said McLintock in a written statement.

Investigators have ruled out foul play in Monteith’s death, but are remaining tight-lipped about other aspects of their investigation.

Sgt. Randy Fincham of the Vancouver Police Department told Vancouver Weekly that the investigation was now in the hands of the coroner’s office.

“We have handed over our investigation to the coroner’s office,” said Fincham, adding that “there is nothing in our preliminary findings that indicate that Mr. Monteith died of illicit drug use”.

Monteith checked into the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on July 6th and had three friends as guests in his hotel room on the 21st floor on Friday evening. Monteith then left the hotel with his friends for a night out in Vancouver’s downtown core. Police are not commenting on where the actor may have gone, but some Vancouverites have reported sightings of Monteith near the beach at English Bay on Friday evening.

Monteith returned to the hotel alone at 2:15am Saturday morning and was found dead by hotel staff in his room ten hours later when failing to check-out.

Police are still withholding information as to where Monteith’s body was found or if there may have been anything in the room that could have contributed to his death.

Monteith Championed Arts in Vancouver

Photo by Patrick E. Vaillancourt

Project Limelight, an organization that aims to provide Vancouver’s at-risk youth population with a safe place to express themselves through art, released a statement on Sunday saying that Monteith was “an amazing young man with a generous heart”. The founders of Project Limelight, sisters Maureen Webb and Donalda Weaver, who dined with Monteith on Thursday afternoon, characterized the Glee star as “a good friend”.

Although Webb and Weaver were unavailable for comment on Monday, their publicist, Katharine Manson, indicated that Monteith was the inspiration for Project Limelight and was an early and influential backer. He appeared in outreach videos for the organization and introduced Virgin’s billionaire chairman Richard Branson to the group.

Representatives of the late actor have told the media that the best way to pay tribute to Monteith is to make a charitable contribution to the project he championed.

Family members, fans pay their respects

flowers for Monteith
Photo by Patrick E. Vaillancourt

A row of flowers, candles and letters adorned the sidewalk steps from the front entrance of Vancouver’s Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel on Monday, as fans came to mourn the actor’s loss.

Amy Yiu broke down in tears when placing a bouquet of flowers at the makeshift memorial, saying that it was such a sad ending for someone who did so much for Vancouver youth.

“It’s just so tragic,” said Yiu. “His plight was the plight of many in our community. He faced his demons admirably and with a courage that inspired everyone”.

While public reaction to Monteith’s death was overwhelming sadness, some on the streets of Vancouver thought the media attention was misdirected.

“I’m not understanding how this is news,” said one man who didn’t wish to be identified. “We have so many people dying in the streets of the DTES (Downtown East Side) everyday, yet it’s the Hollywood actor getting the media attention”.

Members of the Monteith family also visited the memorial outside the Fairmont this afternoon, including the actor’s father Joe Monteith and a cousin.

Joe Monteith did not want to comment, simply saying that he was “not up to it”.

Hotel Employees Muzzled on Monteith Case

Hotel staff we spoke to were mum on Monteith’s death, saying either they didn’t know anything or referring to the police investigation. A bell boy employed with the hotel who identified himself only as “Jay” confirmed he was working on Saturday when Monteith’s body was discovered but provided no further comment.

“I’m not authorized to speak about the case,” said the bell boy.

In a call to the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel, one employee indicated that hotel staff were not permitted from discussing anything related to Monteith’s stay or the circumstances by which he was found. When asked whether the hotel planned to release a statement of their own, the employee said she “could not engage in further conversation,” directing us back to the Vancouver Police.

Requests for a formal interview with someone from the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel went unanswered.