Video: Model found dead in Busch mansion

  1. Closed captioning of: Model found dead in Busch mansion

    >> the storm throughout the morning.

    >>> but for now, the death of an aspirie iing young model . john yang has the story.

    >> reporter: a seemingly healthy 27-year-old woman suddenly died, it's where she died. she was in the home of heifer boyfriend, august busch iv . the former chairman of anheuser- busch and the great, great grandson of the founder of the brewery. adrian nicole martin was on her way up.

    >> everything seemed to be coming together in her life.

    >> reporter: but her life came to a mysterious end in a wealthy st. louis suburb.

    >> what's the problem?

    >> this girl is not waking up, we can't get her to --

    >> is she breathing?

    >> we don't know. it's dark back there, i'm going to get a light and try to see.

    >> we a

    >> reporter: at 46, he's the heir and ceo to the former anheiser busch dynasty, which was sold in 2008 ending 106 years of family control. according to police, there were no apparent signs of trauma or other indications of cause of death .

    >> in a case like this when you see no evidence of trauma to the victim's body, you have to consider some type of natural cause or perhaps some type of overdose.

    >> reporter: according to her ex-husband, she had a rare heart condition . friends say martin was not a drug user .

    >> to make any type of criminal case out of this, it's going to have to be her cause of death and who may have had some responsibility for that death.

    >> reporter: in a statement, busch 's lawyers said there was absolutely no indication of any suspicious circumstances in what he called the tragic, untimely death of a young person , a very nice young person in fact. in his 20s, busch had some run ins with the law.

    >> we are looking at someone who's a known playboy, who has a daredevil past.

    >> reporter: in 1985 , he was accused of trying to run down two detectives during a police chase . his passenger, a 22-year-old woman was killed. police found him at his home six hours later disoriented and with a fractured skull. no charges were ever filed.

    >> from an investigator point of view, law enforcement is going to want to know where she died, what time she died. what was the condition of her body at the time of death. these questions with the autopsy and the toxicology, that will determine whether or not a case will be filed.

    >> reporter: those toxicology reports could take four to six weeks to come back and it won't be until then that officials will make an official determination of the cause of death . ann?

    >> john yang , this morning. john, thanks.

    >>> julie macintosh is a former writer for the "new york times" and wrote the book, "dethroning the king." julie , good morning. while writing your book, you learned a lot about august busch iv . how would you characterize him?

    >> i would say that he is a little bit of a tortured soul. he has spent his whole life trying to live down those two altercations, run ins with the law in his 20s and he has never really been able to. he has had a very difficult relationship with his father. august busch , iii and they have had antagonistic relationship their whole lives and it was something that undermined his job as a ceo and has made his life very trying at points.

    >> now comes word of the mysterious death of adrian martin . what do you make of that and also why do you think the police report was held for days after her death?

    >> i have spent a good amount of time in st. louis both writing the book and since it's been published and the busch family wields a lot of power in the city of st. louis and people were suspicious when he had the high-speed chase with cops, they were suspicious that the police took so long to release a lot of detail and he got off in the jury trial. so i chatted with a few people in st. louis in this go around and they think there's a little bit of not only complicity by the cops, but they treat the busch family a little bit more gently an they might treat others n this vein, the family has been incredibly philanthropic. people feel very strongly about the busch family and are in many ways very positive about them.

    >> as john yang just reported, we're waiting for the toxicology reports that may indicate the cause of adrian's death. could you tell us sort of what the risks are for august busch ? in other words could this affect his position, for example as a member of the board of directors of the company?

    >> right. i would say that's the clearest major issue going forward. he's not the ceo of the company anymore for certain, but he is a board member of anheuser- busch , he's actually the only hold over from the old company. whether he's charged with anything or not, whether this becomes a legal issue, the board may have to make a determination whether this situation is something they feel comfortable with.

    >> julie macintosh. thanks for getting up early and talking to us about this this morning.

Image: August Busch IV in 2006
James A. Finley  /  AP
Police have released the emergency call placed from the home of former Anheuser-Busch chief executive August Busch IV to report a woman who was "just not waking up" and who was later found dead at the home.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 12/27/2010 7:51:30 AM ET 2010-12-27T12:51:30

Police have released the emergency call placed from the home of former Anheuser-Busch chief executive August Busch IV to report a woman who was "just not waking up" and who was later found dead at the home.

Frontenac, Mo., police released the tape Sunday in which a Busch employee told the 911 dispatcher the woman wouldn't wake up. Police said he told the dispatcher he didn't know if she was breathing because it was "dark back there."

Adrienne Nicole Martin, who was 27, was pronounced dead at the scene in a St. Louis suburb on Dec. 19. The cause of death has not been released. Frontenac Police Chief Thomas Becker also said Busch was at home at the time.

"There is no concern for the general public safety in this case, and we will proceed with our investigation carefully and professionally," Becker told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper.

Busch's lawyer, Art Margulis, has said there was nothing suspicious about the death.

Martin had a rare heart condition, according to her ex-husband.

The Post-Dispatch reported Saturday that Dr. Kevin Martin, a doctor of osteopathy who practices in Cape Girardeau, said he diagnosed his then-wife with a heart rhythm disorder in 2002, just after they married.

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Kevin Martin said his wife didn't tell others about her condition, called Long QT syndrome, and he hadn't talked to authorities about it.

"She refused to see a cardiologist about it," Martin said. "I've always suspected she thought I was overreacting."

The newspaper also reported that it took someone at Busch's mansion more than 40 minutes to call 911 after Adrienne Martin was found dead at 12:30 p.m. local time, according to the St. Louis County medical examiner's office.

Officials said an initial autopsy was inconclusive and didn't reveal signs of trauma to her body or obvious natural causes of death. A ruling stating the cause of death is expected after results of toxicology tests come back. That could take up to six weeks.

Overdose?
St. Louis County forensic administrator Suzanne McCune had said there were no signs of trauma or illness, and an overdose was among the possible causes of death.

"She was against drugs," said Timothy Carlson, who until earlier this month employed Martin as his assistant.

Carlson, president of the local MTO Clean franchise, said one of the last tasks she performed before leaving the job was selecting a company to administer drug testing for Carlson's staff at the home and commercial cleaning company.

Story: Busch family touched by scandal, tragedy

Martin was a former Hooters waitress and aspiring beer advertising model who was working on her master's degree in art therapy counseling. She and Kevin Martin, who divorced earlier this year, have an 8-year-old son who was with relatives in Springfield on the day she died.

Kevin Martin said he met Busch "months ago," and that Busch called him Dec. 19 to tell him about the death.

"We also both think the world of August," Martin said. "He is a good man."

Adrienne Martin's body has been cremated, and a memorial service is planned for Thursday in Springfield.

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When Busch took over as chief executive of the family business in 2006, Anheuser-Busch Cos. owned roughly half the U.S. beer market thanks to its Budweiser and Bud Light brands. Two years later, the business was sold to Belgian company InBev in a $52 billion deal that created the world's largest brewer.

Busch is a member of the InBev board but has no role in day-to-day operations.

In 1983, Busch, then a 20-year-old University of Arizona student, left a bar near Tucson, Arizona, with a 22-year-old woman. His black Corvette crashed, and the woman, Michele Frederick, was killed. Busch was found hours later at his home. He suffered a fractured skull and claimed he had amnesia. After a seven-month investigation, authorities declined to press charges, citing a lack of evidence.

Two years later, Busch was acquitted on assault charges resulting from a police chase that ended with an officer shooting out a tire on his Mercedes-Benz.

The Associated Press and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.

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