Ted Koppel's Son Found Dead After Night Of Partying

Jun. 1 2010, Published 9:46 a.m. ET

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Andrew Koppel, the only son of legendary TV journalist Ted Koppel, was found dead in a New York apartment after a massive booze binge, has learned.

Koppel, 40, was declared dead at 1:30 a.m. Monday -- in a New York City apartment complex police described to the NY Post as a "s--- building" -- after he’d reportedly been drinking for at least 12 hours Sunday.

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A source close to the investigation exclusively told on Tuesday that the autopsy was inconclusive, pending the results of toxicology and tissue testing, which should be back in a couple of weeks.

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Koppel had been hanging out with Russell Wimberly, a 32-year-old waiter he'd met Sunday morning at 11 a.m. at a bar in Hell's Kitchen. Wimberly told the paper Koppel guzzled everything from straight whiskey to a pint bottle of Jameson before a last stop to the liquor store to pick up more whiskey and beer. Wimberly told the paper he took his new pal to the Washington Heights apartment of his drinking buddy, Belinda Caban, at 11 p.m. Sunday.

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Koppel "was just really messed up when he came in -- he was very drunk," according to Caban, who told the paper they had laid him down in a bed. Caban said that after a few hours had passed, she called 911 after discovering Koppel in the bed, drenched in his own feces and urine, and not breathing.

"I said to call the police," she said. "When the ambulance came, they said he was dead."

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Andrew, the ex-Nightline anchor's only son out of his four children, had a history of alcohol-related incidents, including a drunken 1990 fender bender in his father's car, and a 1993 arrest in which he was ordered to alcohol treatment after he punched a senatorial aide in Washington, D.C.

Authorities had yet to charge anyone or announce a cause of death early Tuesday.

Andrew Koppel was appointed attorney for the city Housing Authority's civil litigation division in 2001, a post he resigned in 2008, the agency said Tuesday.

Koppel -- one of television's most celebrated journalists -- was the longtime anchor of ABC's news program Nightline.



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