At the time, the Los Angeles County coroner ruled her death accidental and said the cause was pneumonia, combined with anemia and prescription drugs.
But her distraught dad, Angelo Bertolotti, believed the investigation into the Clueless star’s tragic death had been bungled, and sued the coroner’s office and L.A. police department in January 2012. That July, the case was dismissed after he failed to follow up on his charges.
Lab tests he’d requested found Murphy had suspiciously elevated levels of heavy metals in her system, suggesting she may have been poisoned and her death was actually a homicide!
Despite his repeated requests, Bertolotti claimed, the L.A. coroner’s office refused to test the actress’ hair and other specimens for any poisons, toxins or heavy metals.
Renowned pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht, who was asked by Murphy’s father to help investigate in light of the lab findings, said “it’s impossible to rule out murder.”
He also stated he’d “never seen such heavy metals of significance in a body” in his medical career.
“I believe from a professional standpoint it should have been mandatory and incumbent upon the medical examiner’s office to run those tests,” Dr. Wecht told Radar.
Bertolotti died in January 2019 still searching for the cause of his daughter’s death.
When Murphy died, she was rail-thin and had a number of prescription drugs in her system.
Although pals said she’d been using pain meds heavily before her death, her mother, Sharon Murphy, sister Pia Jo Reynolds and husband, Simon Monjack, denied the actress abused medication or had an eating disorder.
“Brittany’s death was heartbreaking. I know a lot of accusations were made about her being on drugs and not eating,” Reynolds told Radar. “In pictures, it looks like she was super sick. I can’t imagine Brittany being weak, but she was very dependent. Still, I can say with all confidence in my heart she was not addicted to prescription drugs. No way!”