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Whitney Houston's body to be released to family

2012-02-13 20:44
Los Angeles - The body of pop legend Whitney Houston will be released to her family in the coming days, the Los Angeles coroners’ office said on Monday, in the wake of the singer's sudden and mysterious death.

"The family is making arrangements," Ed Winter, assistant chief coroner for Los Angeles County, told reporters, adding that it could take "a couple of days" for relatives to claim the body.

The autopsy was completed on Sunday, Winter said, adding that the toxicology investigation to determine the cause of death was still ongoing.

A "security hold" has been placed on the case restricting the release of the toxicology report, but that issue "doesn't restrict the family from having the body", he added.

Houston, who won countless awards and sold more than 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide, died on Saturday at the age of 48.

Her body was found in a bath tub at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles as preparations were under way for Sunday's Grammy Awards, the highlight of the music industry's calendar.

Winter earlier said there were no signs of foul play and that it could take six to eight weeks for the toxicology results to be made public.

Houston had long struggled with substance abuse, which took a toll on her health and career.

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