UPDATE: A Detroit Police Department spokesperson told the Detroit Free Press that Cornell was found unresponsive on the floor of his hotel room with a band around his neck. MLive reported that an autopsy was slated for Thursday, with results possibly taking weeks if the medical examiner decides to await toxicology analysis before releasing the cause and manner of death.
Police in Detroit tell Billboard that they are investigating Soundgarden singer Chris Cornell's death as a possible suicide, though it is too early in the investigation to determine the grunge icon's cause of death. The 52-year-old singer's body was found unresponsive in his Detroit hotel room at midnight on Thursday (May 18). Director Michael Woody of the Detroit Police Department's media relations said on Thursday morning that officers received a 911 call at midnight from an unnamed person at the MGM Grand Casino in downtown Detroit requesting assistance.
"When the units arrived they were met by a gentleman who indicated that Chris Cornell had been found in his room," Woody said. "When officers went to the room they found Chris Cornell laying in his bathroom, unresponsive and he had passed away. We are investigating it as a possible suicide but we need to wait on the medical examiner to determine the cause and manner of death."
Detroit's WXYZ reported that police said Cornell's wife called a family friend and asked him to check on the singer's well-being and when the friend forced opened the hotel room door he found Cornell on the bathroom floor.
Cornell performed a concert with Soundgarden at the Fox Theatre on Wednesday night (May 17). Woody said that police are unable to discuss what was found in Cornell's hotel room at the time of his death. "We are at the beginning stages of the investigation and we can't say anything about the scene," he said.
Spokesperson Brian Bumbery called the death "sudden and unexpected" and said Cornell's wife and family were shocked by it. In a statement, he said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.