by M. ALEX JOHNSON –NBCNews.com
B.B. King died of Alzheimer’s disease and various other ailments associated with old age, according to an autopsy report released Monday — not of poisoning, as some of his daughters had claimed.
King, a Mount Rushmore figure in American blues music, died May 14 in hospice care in Las Vegas. He was 89.
The Clark County coroner’s office said it conducted the autopsy “after relatives claimed he was the victim of foul play.” Las Vegas Metro Police had said they would hold off on any formal investigation pending the autopsy report.
Two of King’s daughters, Karen Williams and Patty King, alleged that two of King’s closest aides hastened his death by poisoning him. But Coroner John Fudenberg reported Monday that King died of Alzheimer’s complicated by coronary artery atherosclerosis, type II diabetes, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure and cerebrovascular disease.
At this point, we can say with confidence that Mr. King died of natural causes,” Fudenberg said. “Our condolences go out to the family and many friends of Mr. King, and we hope this determination brings them some measure of closure.”