* Body leaves L.A. one day after autopsy
* Houston found unconscious and underwater in bathtub
* Family spokeswoman says no funeral plans yet
(Recasts with body in New Jersey, shifts dateline)
By Dan Whitcomb and Jonathan Allen
LOS ANGELES/NEWARK, Feb 13 Whitney
Houston's body arrived in her home state of New Jersey on Monday
night, ahead of a funeral expected later this week for the pop
superstar whose blockbuster career was often overshadowed by
drug and alcohol abuse.
A plane owned by actor-producer Tyler Perry landed at an
airport in Teterboro, New Jersey, where security was tight. A
gold hearse left the airport and arrived just before midnight at
the Whigham funeral home in Newark, the city where Houston was
born. A crowd of about 50 fans had gathered outside.
A spokeswoman for Houston's family said plans for a memorial
had not yet been completed, but media reports have said a public
viewing and funeral would be held later this week.
Houston, 48, rose from singing in a church choir to become
one of the best-selling and most admired performers of her
She won six Grammys and more than 400 other awards in a
25-year career that also saw her star in such blockbuster films
as "The Bodyguard." She was best known for her 1992 hit single
"I Will Always Love You."
But Houston's success was eclipsed later in life by problems
with drinking and drugs. She had a long history of addiction to
alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, admitting so on television talk
shows. She was in rehab as recently as May 2011.
Houston died in a Beverly Hills hotel room Saturday on the
eve of the music industry's Grammy Awards, and because of her
drug battles, speculation arose that she might have died of a
On Monday, Beverly Hills police called a news conference to
address the media "rumors," but did not add much additional
information. They did say the singer's body had been found
underwater in the hotel room's bathtub.
"Ms. Houston was apparently discovered in the bathtub by a
member of her personal staff," who called hotel security,
Beverly Hills Police Lieutenant Mark Rosen said. She was pulled
from the bathtub, but when paramedics arrived "she was
unconscious and unresponsive," he said.
CAUSE OF DEATH STILL UNKNOWN
Rosen declined comment on whether prescription drugs were in
the room or the condition of Houston's body. Detectives have
sealed their inquiry, he said.
"We are not conducting a homicide investigation at this
time. We do not know the cause of death, we do not know the
circumstances leading up to her death," Rosen said.
An autopsy was completed on Sunday, and a final death report
is pending completion of an official investigation and
toxicology reports that may take weeks to finalize.
Los Angeles assistant chief coroner Ed Winter said
prescription medication was found in Houston's room, but he
declined to detail the names of the drugs or the amount found.
Dr. Andrew Baker, president of the National Association of
Medical Examiners who is not involved in the probe, told Reuters
autopsies were good at establishing or ruling out death from
causes like trauma, heart disease or aneurysm.
"The autopsy is going to rule out 95 percent of things," he
said. "But when it comes to diagnosing any kind of poisoning or
intoxication or overdose, it really does come down to lab
Meanwhile, Houston's brother-in-law, Billy Watson, told
ABCNews.com on Monday that he doesn't believe the singer would
have taken her own life.
"Oh, no, this is accidental," he said. "She wouldn't have
left her daughter like that. She wouldn't have done that to her
Houston's daughter, Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, was in Los
Angeles when her mother died.
Houston had been in Los Angeles for the Grammys and planned
to attend an annual pre-award party hosted by record producer
Clive Davis on the night she died.
Houston's death prompted a parade of music industry stars to
express adoration for her and her rise to the top of the music
world. Ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and his wife, Nancy Shevell, on
Monday visited a makeshift memorial outside the Beverly Hilton
hotel where Houston died, placing yellow roses alongside the
numerous other bouquets.
As with the 2009 death of pop superstar Michael Jackson,
Internet sales of Houston's songs surged after her death.
On Monday, her album "Whitney Houston - The Greatest Hits"
was the top seller in the music category on Amazon.com, and "I
Will Always Love You," was the No. 1 download at iTunes, just
ahead of Grammy winner Adele's "Rolling in the Deep."
(Additional reporting By Jill Serjeant and Lisa Richwine in Los
Angeles and Jonathan Allen in New Jersey; Editing by Bob
Tourtellotte and Eric Beech)