Rodney King Autopsy Concluded; Results Weeks Away

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

(AP) RIALTO, California - Investigators conducted an autopsy Monday on Rodney King's body, but it was expected to take several weeks to determine what killed the man who became famous after he was severely beaten by Los Angeles police in 1991, officials said.

Coroner's officials will await results from toxicology tests that could take up to six weeks to gather before determining how the 47-year-old King died. He was pulled from the deep end of his pool early Sunday morning by police who were called to his home by his fiancee.

King's beating was captured on videotape and broadcast worldwide, as were photos of his bloodied and bruised face. The more than 50 baton blows and kicks inflicted by officers left King with 11 skull fractures, a broken eye socket and facial nerve damage.

The trial of four officers charged with felony assault in connection with the case ended after a jury with no black members acquitted three of the officers on state charges in the beating; a mistrial was declared for a fourth.

The verdict sparked one of the most costly and deadly race riots in the nation's history.

"The King beating and trial set in motion overdue reforms in the LAPD and that had a ripple effect on law enforcement throughout the country," he said. (Click for a full report on King's life, and death, at left)

Rialto police were investigating King's death as an apparent drowning and said they have found no signs of foul play. King's fiancee spoke with police for several hours Sunday and is considered a witness in the case, Rialto Police Officer David Shepherd said Monday.

A police officer remained stationed outside of King's one-story home throughout the day Monday, with several news crews also remaining in the neighborhood. Cars slowed to look at the house and some stopped for passengers to snap photos, but no memorial to King had been created at the residence.

Toxicology results will show whether King, who struggled with addiction throughout his life, had any alcohol or drugs in his system.

Police have said there were no signs of alcohol or drug paraphernalia near the pool. Officers were seen taking a marijuana plant out of the house Sunday, but Shepherd said he could not confirm what items were taken from the home.


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