NEW YORK―Actor Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s death is being treated by police as an accidental overdose, following the discovery of his body next to five empty heroin bags and 65 unused ones on Sunday, February 2. He was last seen at 8 p.m. on Saturday night, and was supposed to pick up his three children on Sunday at 9 a.m., but had not showed up. He was found at 11:15 a.m. in the apartment of his friend, screenwriter David Bar Katz, who called 911.
At first, police declared to have found 50 bags, but further investigation proved that the number was much higher. Along with the bags, police found used syringes besides the one found stuck in his arm; detectives are attempting to determine the purity of the heroin found in his possession and to track down the origins of the drug by examining the stamps on the bags and checking with nearby jurisdictions. So far, it has been concluded that Hoffman did not possess the heroin-fentanyl combination, which has been linked to other drug-related deaths in northeasternUnited States.
Detectives are also speculating that Hoffman was less able to tolerate the drug because of his detox stint last year, but the exact cause of death has not yet been determined.
The actor has openly admitted to battling addiction in the past. Eight years ago, Hoffman spoke with “60 Minutes” about his experience with drugs and alcohol during his youth.
Hoffman told “60 Minutes” that he left rehab at the age of 22, remarking that he reached for “anything [he] could get his hands on” and that he “liked it all.” He explained that he first decided to get treatment because “[he] was 22 and [he] got panicked with his life.”
There have been many conflicting accounts regarding who found the actor first at his apartment. A tweet from Pervaiz Shallwani at 10:55 a.m. on February 2 gives one account: “Law enforcement official: Actor was found in the bathroom of 4th floor apartment with a needle in his arm.”
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” his family said in a statement. “This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving. Please keep Phil in your thoughts and prayers.” Broadway theaters will be dimming their marquees for one minute on Tuesday at 7:45 p.m. in his honor.
The actor recently spent time in rehab in 2012, after suffering a relapse while taking prescription drugs. Hoffman is a multiple Oscar nominee where he was nominated three times for Best Supporting Actor for his work in “Charlie Wilson’s War,” “Doubt” and “The Master.”
He won an Academy Award in 2006 for Best Actor for his performance in “Capote.” The actor recently appeared in the sequel to the “Hunger Games” franchise, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire” and completed work on the first installment of the final chapter in the franchise, “Mockingjay.”
According to reports, Hoffman made multiple withdrawals from an ATM totaling more than $1,200 on Saturday, the day before his death. On Tuesday, February 4, New York Police Department officials conducted several drug raids in connection to Hoffman’s death. Authorities arrested four people in connection with the actor’s death; the suspects are believed to be dealers who the actor frequently purchased drugs from. An autopsy has been ruled inconclusive in determining an exact cause of death for the actor.
The actor will be laid to rest over the weekend at a private funeral inNew York. He is survived by his long-time partner Mimi O’Donnell and his two daughters, Talluah, 7, Willa, 5, and his son Cooper, 10.