Officials in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are reportedly launching a murder probe into the death of pop icon Prince.
Following reports of a drug overdose that came after years of rumored opiate abuse, police are said to be hunting down the individuals who treated Prince. Staff at his Paisley Park estate all willingly allowed police to search their phones, computers and emails, and authorities have been given full access to the singer’s affairs from the past two years.
Prince's staff, the Daily Star reported, built a "wall of steel" around him to prevent his alleged opiate addiction from going public.
“A crack team have been assigned with learning minute by minute what Prince was doing during his final days,” a police source told the Daily Star.
“But the investigation will also look into his activities over the last two years.”
Police refused to rule out homicide in the case, and those who supplied Prince with drugs could potentially face murder charges if it's found that the singer was enabled and given enough prescription drugs to kill him.
An autopsy was recently completed on the singer, who died at Paisley Park after being found unresponsive. The full results of the autopsy and a final cause of death will not be revealed for weeks, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
“We just want to stay out of it and let the police handle it,” Maurice Phillips, husband of Prince’s sister Tyka Nelson, told the Star Tribune. “She’s still in the grieving process.”
Michael Padden, a longtime attorney of two of the singer’s siblings, said that the siblings had revealed to him a decade ago that their brother was battling an addiction to Percocet and cocaine.
Lorna Nelson and Duane Nelson, Prince’s half siblings, told Padden that they often paid buyers to obtain prescription drugs for their brother. Both Lorna and Duane died within the past 10 years.
“Lorna told me that her brother would die young … before his time and of a heart attack,” Padden told the Tribune.
Those close to Prince denied any drug usage, with limo driver Robbie Paster — the singer’s valet and personal assistant for almost 10 years beginning in 1984 — saying he was unaware of any addiction issues.
“I never knew of any opiate or cocaine problem. There’s no way you can do both of those and be as driven as he was. I never saw it,” Paster said. Former drummer Sheila E. also said she had “never seen him take anything, not even aspirin” in their 35-year relationship.