Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
In this Jan. 19, 2014 photo, Philip Seymour Hoffman poses for a portrait at The Collective and Gibson Lounge Powered by CEG, during the Sundance Film Festival, in Park City, Utah. Hoffman, who won the Oscar for best actor in 2006 for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in "Capote," was found dead Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, in his New York apartment. He was 46. (Photo by Victoria Will/Invision/AP)
Officials: Hoffman found with likely heroin packs
First Published Feb 03 2014 01:00 pm • Last Updated Feb 04 2014 11:25 am

New York • 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.

At a glance

Broadway marquees to dim to honor Hoffman

Broadway theaters will dim their marquee lights Wednesday night in memory of Philip Seymour Hoffman, the movie and theater star who earned three Tony Award nominations.

The Broadway League said Monday the lights will be dimmed for one minute starting at 7:45 p.m. Eastern time.

Hoffman made his Broadway debut in Sam Shepard’s “True West” with John C. Reilly in 2000 and followed it up three years later with Eugene O’Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey Into Night” with Brian Dennehy and Vanessa Redgrave. In 2012, he played a powerful Willy Loman in “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller under the direction of Mike Nichols. Each time he earned a Tony nod.

He also was a longtime supporter of the off-Broadway Labyrinth Theatre Company, where he served as co-artistic director.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

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.


story continues below
story continues below

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.



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Login to the Electronic Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.