The discovery of Whitney Houston face down in her bathtub led to a chilling 911 call for help that was marked by confusion and questions over whether she was still breathing, according to a recording of the fateful call.
The Los Angeles County’s Coroner’s office last month revealed the results of a long-awaited toxicology test and concluded that Houston had drowned in the bathtub. Secondarily, it cited “the effects of atherosclerotic heart disease and cocaine use,” Her death was ruled “accidental.”
Whitney Houston 991 Emergency Call
Houston, 48, was found submerged in a tub of water on the afternoon of Feb. 11, just hours before she was set to appear at a pre-Grammy party hosted by her long-time mentor Clive Davis at the Beverly Hilton Hotel where she was staying.
The call to 911 requesting paramedics was placed by a hotel security guard. He reported that a “46-year-old female” had been found in her bathroom, and a request had been made for emergency medical assistance.
Houston, of course, was 48 at the time of her death. The guard seemed to suggest that the woman, who was not identified as Houston during the call, had fallen in the bathroom. But he added that he was unsure. He cited room 434, which was Houston’s.
The call seems fairly routine until the emergency dispatcher asked whether Houston was conscious or breathing.
“Apparently she wasn’t breathing,” the guard replied.
She was not breathing? the dispatcher said, his voice rising in surprise. “Ok, but she is breathing now?”
“I don’t know,” the security guard said.
At the time of her death, the coroner said there wasn’t enough water in her lungs to attribute her death to drowning. No reason was given for the change of opinion.
Traces of “marijuana, Alprazolam (Xanax), Cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) and Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) were also found in her system but did not contribute to the death,” the report said.
Listen to the call above.