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Official: Heroin in packets in Hoffman's apartment

NEW YORK (AP) - Tests have confirmed there was heroin in at least some of the scores of plastic packets in the New York City apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman was found dead, a law enforcement official said Monday, and authorities are working to determine whether the drug was mixed or tainted with anything else.

Medical examiners have not yet made an official determination of the cause of the 46-year-old actor's death, but police have been investigating it as a suspected overdose. Hoffman was found in a bathroom with a syringe in his arm, law enforcement officials have said.

A few details have begun to sketch a picture of his final day and the circumstances in which he was found in his apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village on Sunday. And questions have swirled about whether Hoffman's death could be linked to a potent blend of heroin and synthetic morphine that has been tied to deaths elsewhere, though as yet there are no official findings pointing to that scenario.

"The direction of the investigation is going to depend, in large part, on the findings of the medical examiner and the findings of the lab tests," chief police spokesman Stephen Davis said.

An autopsy began Monday, but results weren't expected until at least Tuesday, the city medical examiners' office said.

A friend had spoken to him by phone around 9 p.m. Saturday, in the last contact investigators are aware of anyone having with him, a law enforcement official said. The official said the actor's door was double-locked when his body was found around 11:30 a.m. the next day by the same friend and Hoffman's assistant.

In the apartment were at least four dozen small packets variously stamped with the ace of hearts and others with the ace of spades, two law enforcement officials said Monday. Tests of samples showed heroin in each type, one of the officials said.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk about the evidence gathered.

Authorities also found unused syringes, a charred spoon and various prescription medications, including a blood-pressure drug and a muscle relaxant, one of the officials said.

Stamps are common as a form of drug-world branding, and authorities make note of the ones they encounter, though they're hardly trademarks - different producers might use the same symbol. It wasn't immediately clear whether the ace of hearts and ace of spades stamps could lead investigators to any clues about the source of the items found in Hoffman's apartment.

Concern has risen around the region in recent months about fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute roughly 100 times more powerful than morphine, being mixed with or substituted for heroin. In western Pennsylvania, 22 people died within a week last month from suspected overdoses of heroin and fentanyl, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said last week; at least a half-dozen suspected dealers have been charged there.

On New York's Long Island, the Nassau County medical examiner's office said Friday it was investigating several deaths initially assumed to be heroin overdoses but later found to have involved fentanyl being sold in packets stamped "24K."

In New York City, a fentanyl-heroin blend cropped up recently in a case against a man charged last month with running a sizeable heroin and cocaine ring. In one of various alleged deals, he sold a 200-gram package of powder that later tested positive for both heroin and fentanyl, a prosecutor's office spokeswoman said Monday.


Associated Press writer Tom Hays contributed to this report.

50 Heroin Bags Found In Hoffman's Home

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Becky February 03 2014 at 5:02 PM

when your a drug addict you are slowing committing suiside with yourself and a person knows this. He was suppose to be clean - yeah ok. 50 packets of heroine? That isn't casual use - that is a constant and highly addicted use. Why do people do that to themselves? If he was that miserable wouldn't you think his so-called friends and co-star workers know that he is using and try to help? All those sentimental tweets his "friends" sending out - you got to know they knew what he was doing to his life, family and people he worked with... He sure didn't leave a very good legacy for himself - just another actor who cared more for his dope than he did for family, friends & career.... People saying oh he was such a great actor - the best there was - oh hell no! There are LOTS better actors out there. He was a charactor actor - he was good, but he wasn't great. I feel for his family - don't know if they tried to get him help - but that was all his own doing.... he called the shots and he died from it.

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1 reply
blu42nite Becky February 03 2014 at 5:11 PM

obviously you've never used heroin or know anyone using it and that's great for you. i don't care what anyone says, heroin is the toughest drug to get clean from. ..............an addict can be a great actor even if thtat's not his job. REST IN PEACE Mr. Hoffman.

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1 reply
Bonnie blu42nite February 03 2014 at 5:42 PM

Heroin is not the hardest to kick...nicotine is.

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kgc073 February 03 2014 at 4:45 PM

All the officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to talk about evidence found.
Again and again they speak when they are not authorized. WHO ARE THESE BIG MOUTH PEOPLE ???

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1 reply
smashingmonkey kgc073 February 03 2014 at 4:47 PM

I would tell you, but I'm not authorized.

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rocket1400 February 04 2014 at 4:54 AM

just say no! like driving your car into a wall and saying you can handle it. goes to show it is everywhere.

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hoeschenl February 03 2014 at 4:43 PM

The sad part about all of this is there will be lots of talk about Heroin.......but no one will say much about all of the other "pharm pills" that were found at his home.....and Suboxone...too. All of which are also Opiates. All are equally bad......and lead to a life of addiction that 90% of those addicts will never be able to "kick"......no matter the resourses or $$$$ avaliable. People today and always will think twice about sticking a needle into themselves........but won't blink an eye at smoking or dropping a "pill" that is just as deadly......in the long run. Cheers, Los Osos Larry

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tonystruckrep February 04 2014 at 5:52 AM

when is there going to be a stop to this it seems like it is getting worse for me being in recovery 12.5 years life is much easyer then being on the run you just have to give up and everything will fall inti place but i now it is easyer said then done

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2 replies
heart2survive tonystruckrep February 04 2014 at 6:30 AM

Congratulations for you 12.5 yrs of recovery. One does have to reach that desperate bottom line where it is either death or life. Your right the draw back to addiction remains, ever so slightly under the surface, and your never completely safe from not relapsing...but you now have a successful gauge to draw from. Your no longer running, but you also realize it remains a life long diligent battle. I am so glad you are a success.

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Cheryl tonystruckrep February 04 2014 at 7:35 AM

Congrats on your years of sobriety. I know it's a battle everyday and you are a brave warrior. Keep up the battle

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louabbot February 03 2014 at 4:40 PM

Why does AOL and other sites make such a big deal about Hoffman's death? I admit we lost a fine actor. The media is reacting as if the President died!

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2 replies
toosharp louabbot February 03 2014 at 4:41 PM

your an idiot

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Denise louabbot February 03 2014 at 4:44 PM

I only wish

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rhyohna February 04 2014 at 6:43 AM

years ago an anesthesiologist was found dead in bathroom, with a needle in his arm at the hospital where he worked...addiction will cause people such a craving that those who become enslaved to such, lose all sensibilities of the danger they risk to their lives. it is so sad, life is a gift. don't throw it away so senselessly . so many die way too young.

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Larry February 03 2014 at 4:39 PM

Too common for the Hollywood crowd to turn to drugs.

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samlupowitz February 04 2014 at 7:02 AM

To me, the more significant story and tragedy is the fact when 22 people died last month within 1 week in 1 state, the story never made it into the news, yet 1 famous person dies and the world stops. Those 22 people were what, "nothing"? This is the problem with the world today. NFL games are more important than war, and famous people count while masses of other don't.

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lindams99 February 03 2014 at 8:19 PM

A talented actor but what kind of man, after being clean for decades, gives into his demons and leaves his precious children fatherless? Why didn't he seek help? He won an Oscar, but he'll be remembered for how he killed himself.

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1 reply
amy1way lindams99 February 03 2014 at 8:26 PM

You ask what kind of man? A hu-man.

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1 reply
patkelly5959 amy1way February 03 2014 at 8:31 PM

are you sure?????????????????

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