Billy Mays' Family Questions Autopsy
Mays' family questioned the finding of cocaine and criticized the medical examiner's officer for issuing the report. "We were totally unaware of any non-prescription drug usage and are actively considering an independent evaluation of the autopsy results," Mays' family said in a statement.
The Hillsborough County medical examiner's office released the results of its autopsy on Friday, finding that cocaine use had contributed to the heart disease that suddenly killed the 50-year-old in June. He was discovered by his wife in bed at their Tampa condo on June 28.
Mays was a pop-culture fixture with his energetic commercials pitching gadgets and cleaning products like Orange Glo and OxiClean.
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While heart disease was the primary cause of his death, the medical examiner listed cocaine as a "contributory cause of death." The office said Mays last used cocaine in the few days before his death but was not under the influence of the drug when he died.
Cocaine can raise the arterial blood pressure, directly cause thickening of the left wall of the ventricle and accelerate the formation of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries, the medical examiner's office release said.
The reports also stated that Mays was taking hydrocodone, oxycodone and tramadol by prescription for hip pain, as well as anti-anxiety drugs alprazolam and diazepam.
In the statement, the family was "extremely disappointed" by the release of the information. They said the report "contains speculative conclusions that are frankly unnecessary and tend to obscure the conclusion that Billy suffered from chronic, untreated hypertension, which only demonstrates how important it is to regularly monitor one's health."
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