Details emerge in Robin Williams' death

  • This Dec. 15, 2010 photo released by the U.S. Department of Defense shows actor-comedian Robin Williams, right, with U.S. Army Maj. Gen John F. Campbell, Combined Joint Task Force 101 and Regional Command East commander, before the annual USO Holiday Tour at Bagram Air Field, in Afghanistan. Members of the armed forces have long held special affection for Williams, 63, who died Monday, Aug. 11, 2014 after hanging himself in his San Francisco Bay Area home. Williams never served in the military, but he was a tireless participant in USO shows. (AP Photo/U.S. Department of Defense, Staff Sgt. Michael Sparks)

SAN RAFAEL — Robin Williams’ wife last saw him alive Sunday night before she went to bed in a separate room of their Tiburon home overlooking San Francisco Bay.

The next day, thinking Williams was still asleep, the Oscar winner’s wife, Susan Schneider, left their St. Thomas Way house at 10:30 a.m., said Lt. Keith Boyd, assistant chief deputy coroner at the Marin County Sheriff’s Office.

A personal assistant arrived and knocked on Williams’ bedroom door, Boyd said. When Williams, 63, didn’t answer by about 11:45 a.m., the assistant became concerned and walked inside.

Robin Williams, 1951-2014


Williams was dead, suspended slightly off the ground in a seated position with a belt around his neck, the apparent victim of suicide, Boyd said.

“The preliminary results of the forensic examination revealed supporting physical signs that Mr. Williams’ life ended from asphyxia due to hanging,” Boyd told reporters Tuesday.

Dozens of journalists, some from as far away as Germany, attended a news conference at the Sheriff’s Office in San Rafael, where Boyd revealed new details about the events that led to the discovery of Williams’ body.

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday by Dr. Joseph Cohen at the Napa County morgue. Marin County authorities selected the facility because it offered more security than the private contractor that usually conducts Marin autopsies, Boyd said.

Toxicology tests, which would reveal if Williams had any chemical substances in his system at the time of his death, are being conducted and will yield results in two to six weeks, Boyd said.

Williams had been seeking treatment for depression, Boyd said. Asked whether Williams left a suicide note, Boyd said “We’re not discussing the note or a note at this time.”

He said Williams and his wife were home alone when she went to bed around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Williams went to another room.

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