Coroner: Death of Andrew Getty appears natural or accident

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Heir To Getty Oil Fortune Found Dead In Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The death at a Hollywood Hills home Tuesday of Andrew Getty, one of the heirs to the fortune of one of the wealthiest and best-known families in American history, was most likely from natural causes or an accident, authorities and family members said.

The death appeared to be from natural causes, Los Angeles County coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said, but it has been initially called an accident because of medication found at the scene. He said coroner's officials need to await the results of further examination and toxicology tests, which could take up to 10 weeks to process.

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Getty Heir Found Dead in Hollywood Hills Home - Getty general
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Coroner: Death of Andrew Getty appears natural or accident
Credit: The Wrap
A police officer creates a perimeter outside a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Police say a man was found dead at the home of Andrew Getty, heir to Getty oil fortune. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
A Los Angeles County Coroner van arrives at a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Police say a man was found dead at the home of Andrew Getty, heir to Getty oil fortune. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Los Angeles Police Captain William P. Hayes speaks to the media outside a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Police say a man was found dead at the home of Andrew Getty, heir to Getty oil fortune. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Members of the media wait outside a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Police say a man was found dead at the home of Andrew Getty, heir to Getty oil fortune. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
An officer stands outside a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Police say a man was found dead at the home of Andrew Getty, heir to Getty oil fortune. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
An officer stands outside a home in the Hollywood Hills area of Los Angeles, Tuesday, March 31, 2015. Police say a man was found dead at the home of Andrew Getty, heir to Getty oil fortune. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)
Oil Billionaire Jean Paul Getty, America’s richest expatriate, is seen at his home at Guildford, Surrey, England in 1975. Now 82, Getty said he expected to move to his 65-acre property at Malibu, California, within the next year, claiming that English winter weather bothered him more than rising taxation in Britain. (AP Photo/David Caulkin)
Oil Billionaire J. Paul Getty, left, America’s richest expatriate, talks at his home at Guildford, Surrey, England, United Kingdom in 1975, with British wild life specialist Peter Scott, right. Now 82, Getty said he expected to move to his 65-acre property at Malibu, California, within the next year, claiming that English winter weather bothered him more than rising taxation in Britain. (AP Photo/David Caulkin)
Timothy Potts, Director, J. Paul Getty Museum speaks during the opening of "Hearsay Of The Soul" filmmaker Werner Herzog's video installation at the Getty Museum on Monday, July 23, 2013, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP)
Visitors walk beside a pool in the Jean Paul Getty Museum in Malibu, California, United States in 1984. On either side are Greek and Roman antiquities, the main concern in this part of the 2-floor establishment. A floor above has decorative arts from the 13th, to the early 20th centuries. The museum was opened at its present site in 1974 as a recreation of the Villa dei Papiri, a first century Roman villa which stood on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, near Herculaneum. Getty, an oil magnate, founded the collection and left it $1.3 billion when he died in 1976. (AP Photo/Emily Lane)
Visitors view The Cult Statue of a Goddess, often referred to as Aphrodite - opinions vary - during a visit to the Getty Villa in Malibu, Calif., Monday, Dec. 6, 2010. The statue is among several items being returned to Sicily as part of Italy's decade-old campaign to retrieve antiquities it says were illegally brought to California, and is among the last of 40 artifacts the J. Paul Getty Museum agreed to turn over. (AP Photo/Nick Ut)
The Malibu Villa, modelled after the partially excavated Villa dei Papiri in Italy, became the home of the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1974.
Timothy Potts, Director, J. Paul Getty Museum speaks during the opening of "Hearsay Of The Soul" filmmaker Werner Herzog's video installation at the Getty Museum on Monday, July 23, 2013, in Los Angeles, Calif. (Photo by Ryan Miller/Invision/AP)
The Malibu Villa, modelled after the partially excavated Villa dei Papiri in Italy, became the home of the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1974.
The Malibu Villa, modelled after the partially excavated Villa dei Papiri in Italy, became the home of the J. Paul Getty Museum in 1974.
Architect Richard Meier stands in front of the Getty Museum in Los Angeles Nov. 3, 1997. Meier designed the buildings at the 24-acre, $1 billion Getty Center which opens to the public Dec. 16. (AP Photo/John Hayes)
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"The tentative information that we do have is that he was not feeling good for the last couple months," Winter said, "and he supposedly had an appointment tomorrow with a personal physician."

Neither the coroner nor police had officially identified the man, but a statement from 47-year-old Andrew Getty's parents, Ann and Gordon Getty, confirmed it was him.

A woman calling to report that someone had died sent officers to the gated home on Montcalm Avenue shortly after 2:15 p.m. They found a man dead in a bathroom, police spokesman Jack Richter said.

Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the woman who had called police was cooperating with the investigation. Richter said she was not arrested and he did not know her identity.

Coroner's vans and news trucks were parked outside the century-old luxury home on one of the winding roads in the hills that are home to many of the film industry elite.

Getty is one of four sons of Gordon Getty, a San Francisco multibillionaire who is among the richest men in the United States.

The family statement provided no further details on the death and asked that the media and public respect the family's privacy. It said further statements will be issued as information becomes available.

Andrew Getty's grandfather J. Paul Getty was an industrialist who founded the Getty Oil Co. and was at one point named the richest living American by Fortune magazine. He had five sons and died in 1976 at age 82.

J. Paul Getty was an avid collector of art and antiquities, and the Getty name is best known in the Los Angeles area for the museum that houses much of it, along with many other high-priced artworks bought since his death.

Another Getty grandson, J. Paul Getty III, lost an ear in a grisly kidnapping in Rome when he was a teenager. The family reportedly stalled on paying a ransom, and the kidnappers cut off part of his ear, sending the severed organ to a newspaper to prove they had taken him captive.

The oil heir, then 16, was freed after five months in captivity and a payment of $2.7 million. He died in 2011 at age 54.


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