ST. LOUIS — The girlfriend of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV died at his home after accidentally overdosing on the painkiller oxycodone, the St. Louis County medical examiner said Wednesday.
Adrienne Martin, 27, of St. Charles, was found dead on the morning of Dec. 19 at Busch's sprawling estate in suburban St. Louis. Martin had slept at Busch's home the night before her death. He has said he woke up around 11 a.m. and tried to awaken Martin, but couldn't.
In a one-paragraph statement released on Wednesday, Dr. Mary Case, the medical examiner, said lethal levels of the painkiller oxycodone caused Martin's death.
Daily drumbeat of child homicides gets little notice
Although tragedies like Sandy Hook shake the nation, it's easy to forget guns are the second-leading killer of young kids, with 900 deaths each year. And strangers rarely commit the crime, an NBC News analysis finds.
- Families vow to bring 'Newtown effect' to gun-control debate
- What 25 years of FBI data show about child homicides
- Eight rescued after plane crashes off Hawaii; 1 dead
- Ex-cop acquitted at retrial in fatal post-Katrina shooting
- Daily drumbeat of child homicides gets little notice
St. Louis County forensics administrator Suzanne McCune said the full report from Martin's toxicology exam wouldn't be released until the prosecuting attorney's investigation is complete. She would not say if any other drugs were found in Martin's system.
It wasn't immediately clear if the finding could result in any criminal charges. Busch's attorney, Art Margulis, did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
Only on NBCNews.com
- From belief to betrayal: How America fell for Armstrong
- US to Syria neighbors: Be ready to act on WMDs
- China: One-child policy is here to stay
- New 'Practice Range' shooter game says it’s from NRA
- 'Gifted' priest indicted in crystal meth case
- China's state media admits to air pollution crisis
- French to send 1,000 more troops to Mali
Reputation as playboy
At Anheuser-Busch, Busch IV earned praise for his role in marketing and advertising. In life, he earned a reputation as a playboy and hard partier.
In 1983, Busch, then a 20-year-old University of Arizona student, left a bar near Tucson, Ariz., with a 22-year-old woman. His black Corvette crashed, and the woman was killed. Busch was found hours later at his home, and 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 by a jury in St. Louis on assault charges resulting from a police chase that ended with an officer shooting out a tire on his Mercedes-Benz.
But Busch said his relationship with Martin was so strong he had put aside his playboy ways.
"She was the only girl I've ever been with that I didn't want to have someone on the side," Busch told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in an interview last month. "You know, I'm this notorious bachelor who always wanted someone on the side, but I didn't with Adrienne."
Martin had done modeling work and was the mother of an 8-year-old son from a previous marriage. Friends had said she was strongly opposed to illegal drugs.
Kevin Martin, Adrienne Martin's ex-husband, had told the Post-Dispatch that she had a heart disorder known as Long QT syndrome, which involves the electrical activity of the heart. The medical examiner in Wednesday's statement did not address that issue.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.