Los Angeles Police Investigating How ‘Friends’ Star Matthew Perry Obtained Lethal Dose of Ketamine

By Steve Gorman

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles homicide detectives and federal agents are investigating “Friends” star Matthew Perry obtained the high dose of the powerful prescription drug ketamine that was found in his body and was determined to have caused his death, police said.

Tuesday’s revelation of an ongoing criminal investigation by police and two federal agencies came five months after the Los Angeles County medical examiner concluded that Perry succumbed to an accidental drug overdose and drowned, without no crime was suspected.

The Dec. 15 autopsy report concluded that Perry died from the “acute effects of ketamine,” which combined with other factors caused the actor to lose consciousness and slip underwater in the hot tub at his Los Angeles home. .

“Based on the medical examiner’s findings, the Los Angeles Police Department, with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service, has continued its investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Perry,” the LAPD said in a statement. .

A police spokesman said detectives from the LAPD’s robbery-homicide division were conducting the police investigation.

Toxicology tests found ketamine, a short-acting anesthetic with hallucinogenic properties, in Perry’s body at dangerously high levels, within the range typically associated with general anesthesia used in supervised surgical care, according to the autopsy.

Coronary artery disease, the effects of buprenorphine, an opioid addiction medication, also detected in his system, and drowning were listed as contributing factors to his death on October 28.

Perry, 54, who publicly acknowledged decades of drug and alcohol abuse, including his years playing Chandler Bing on the hit 1990s TV sitcom “Friends,” had been sober for 19 months with no known relapses before. of his death, according to interviews cited. in his autopsy.

Witness interviews in the report said he had been receiving ketamine infusion therapy for depression and anxiety. But her last known treatment was a week and a half before her death, so the ketamine found in her system by forensic doctors would have been introduced from that last infusion, according to the autopsy.

“The exact method of ingestion in Mr. Perry’s case is unknown,” the report says, adding that traces of ketamine appeared in his stomach. No needle marks were found on his body, he claimed.

How the actor could have obtained ketamine on his own or who could have supplied it to him remained open questions and, according to an LAPD spokesperson, are the focus of the ongoing investigation.

A DEA spokesperson declined to comment on the investigation and referred media inquiries to the Los Angeles Police Department.

(Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles; Editing by David Gregorio and Jamie Freed)