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Houston was found underwater in hotel bathtub

By Andrew Blankstein and Richard Winton, Los Angeles Times –

LOS ANGELES — Whitney Houston was found underwater in the bathtub of a Beverly Hills hotel suite, but investigators said they are still not sure of exactly how she died.

Both the Beverly Hills Police Department and Los Angeles County Coroner’s office continued to interview friends and family and collected evidence as they probe the cause of the pop star’s death Saturday before a pre-Grammys party.

Investigators have collected several bottles of prescription drugs from Houston’s suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, law enforcement sources told the Los Angeles Times. But the sources stressed that the amount of drugs did not seem unusually large and it remains unclear whether the drugs had anything to do with her death.

Detectives are still trying to piece together the last hours of Houston’s life and are awaiting toxicology tests, according to the law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

After Houston was found Saturday afternoon, Beverly Hills Fire Department paramedics performed CPR on Houston for about 20 minutes before declaring her dead, officials said.

Houston struggled with drug and alcohol problems for years, and last May her spokeswoman said the singer was going back into rehab.

She was in Beverly Hills for music industry titan Clive Davis’ annual pre-Grammys party Saturday night at the Beverly Hilton. During the preceding days, she made several public appearances. At times, she was said to have been acting strangely, skipping around a ballroom and doing handstands near the hotel pool. Houston reportedly greeted people with a warm smile but at times appeared disheveled in mismatched clothes and with her hair dripping wet.

On Thursday, she dropped by the rehearsals for the pre-Grammys party. A Grammy staffer said that as reporters interviewed Davis and singers Brandy and Monica, Houston was dancing just off camera to make them laugh. Grammy personnel expressed concern that she’d be caught on camera and that reporters would write about her behavior.

Ed Winter, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, said Monday there were no obvious signs of trauma on Houston’s body.

“The investigation is ongoing,” Winter said at a news conference. “It’s too early to tell.”

Houston’s body is expected to be transported by private jet from Los Angeles to her hometown of Newark, N.J., for her funeral.

Services for the pop singer are tentatively scheduled for Friday at the Prudential Center in Newark, family members told the Newark Star-Ledger.

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