Bob Saget's cause of death was 'head trauma' in hotel, family and medical examiner say
A statement from Saget's family released Wednesday shared the conclusion from the medical examiner's office investigating the Jan. 9 death of the "America's Funniest Home Video" host and "Full House" star. The Orange County chief medical examiner corroborated the statement Thursday.
“Now that we have the final conclusions from the authorities’ investigation, we felt it only proper that the fans hear those conclusions directly from us," the statement sent by Saget's longtime publicist Michael O'Brien said. "The authorities have determined that Bob passed from head trauma. They have concluded that he accidentally hit the back of his head on something, thought nothing of it and went to sleep."
"No drugs or alcohol were involved," the statement added.
"In consideration of the circumstances surrounding the death and after examination of the body, toxicology analysis, histology, and a respiratory pathogen panel, it is my opinion that the death of Mr. Saget, was the result of blunt head trauma," read the statement from Joshua Stephany, Chief Medical Examiner of Orange and Osceola counties. "His injuries were most likely incurred from an unwitnessed fall. A toxicology analysis did not reveal any illicit drugs or toxins. The manner of death is accident. Our condolences go out to Mr. Saget’s loved ones during this difficult time."
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Saget, 65, was found unresponsive in the bed of his room at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando on Jan. 9 with no sign of trauma or foul play, according to the sheriff's office. A hotel security officer had entered the room after Saget failed to check out, and called 911 when he found him unresponsive. Deputies and paramedics came to the scene and he was pronounced dead.
A sheriff's office report stated that Saget's left arm was found across his chest, prompting speculation that he died of a heart attack.
On Jan. 10, the Orange County chief medical examiner in charge of investigating the death said an autopsy indicated no evidence of drug use or foul play.
Trauma surgeon Kari Jerge tells USA TODAY that a blow to the head can push the brain "up against the skull," resulting in a concussion, a type of brain injury. Jerge says concussion can lead to two possibly fatal scenarios: "bleeding and bruising" of the brain or asphyxiation during unconsciousness.
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Saget's final Instagram post on the day he died was filled with hope after completing a successful comedy show from his "I Don't Do Negative" tour in nearby Jacksonville.
"I loved tonight’s show," Saget wrote in the post. "Very appreciative and fun audiences. I had no idea I did a two hour set tonight. I’m back in comedy like I was when I was 26. I guess I’m finding my new voice and loving every moment of it."
The death of Saget, best known for his role as single dad Danny Tanner on the ABC sitcom “Full House,” spurred national mourning for the beloved actor and comedian.
“As we continue to mourn together, we ask everyone to remember the love and laughter that Bob brought to this world, and the lessons he taught us all," Wednesday's statement from Saget's family said. "To be kind to everyone, to let the people you love know you love them, and to face difficult times with hugs and laughter."
"Full House" stars including John Stamos, Dave Coulier, Candace Cameron Bure, Jodie Sweetin and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen attended a Jan. 14 memorial for Saget in Los Angeles, along with fellow comedians Dave Chappelle, Jimmy Kimmel and Chris Rock.
Stamos called the day of Saget's funeral “the hardest day of my life" on Twitter.
Saget was married to Kelly Rizzo and had three daughters from a previous marriage.
On Wednesday, Rizzo posted an Instagram tribute marking the one-month anniversary of Saget's death, featuring a video of the couple.
"One month without this incredible man," Rizzo wrote. "Bob truly lived life to its fullest. He had so many hardships over the years that he would always tell me 'look, life is hard, we need to enjoy it as much as possible.' ”
Contributing: Rasha Ali and Edward Segarra, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press
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