Coroner's Official Returns To Jackson Home

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LOS ANGELES — Investigators on Monday retrieved medications from the rented mansion where pop star Michael Jackson was fatally stricken last week, a coroner's official said.

Two coroner's investigators and two police detectives spent several hours inside the three-story estate home and then emerged with two large red bags filled with evidence.

The coroner's office performed an autopsy on the 50-year-old entertainer's body on Friday but deferred a decision on the cause of death, citing the need for further tests. A second, private autopsy has been requested by the family, according to Jackson's father, Joe.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told reporters outside the home that authorities returned to the home to gather additional items, which he identified as "some medications."

Winter cited "information that was obtained by the Los Angeles Police Department along with some questions we had involving some of the medications," but he did not elaborate.

He would not say what type of medications were picked up. He also did not say how much medication there was or where in the home it was found.

A police official close to the investigation said detectives had used a search warrant to enter the house. The official, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case and asked not to be named, declined to specify what was removed from the home but said investigators would be speaking to any doctors who were determined to have prescribed medications to Jackson.

Investigators have already interviewed Jackson's primary physician, Conrad Murray, and said he was cooperating fully.

The investigation will possibly continue for another four or five weeks, "with extensive testing," Winter said.

Winter said Jackson's family was being "extremely cooperative."

Jackson was pronounced dead Thursday at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, where he was taken by paramedics.

The police official said the case remains a standard death investigation, and nothing suggests wrongdoing at this time.

Two days after Jackson's death, moving vans were spotted arriving at his home. It wasn't known what was being taken out but one expert wondered about the ramifications of investigators returning to the house several days after the death.

Generally, if a case turns into a criminal investigation, taking evidence from a home days after a death creates the potential for a defense lawyer to claim evidence was tainted, University of Southern California law professor Jean Rosenbluth said.

"As soon as law enforcement gets information that there might be some kind of criminal activity, they go back," she said. "Any good defense attorney can make a claim that the evidence might have been tainted somehow because all sorts of people had access to it before the crime scene was secured."

Messages left for Los Angeles police Commander Patrick Gannon, the designated police spokesman on the Jackson case, were not immediately returned.