Image: August Busch IV
James A. Finley  /  AP
August Busch IV, shown in Feb. 2006 is being investigated in the death of his girlfirend, Adrienne N. Martin, whose body was found at his home.
msnbc.com staff and news service reports
updated 2/9/2011 2:19:27 PM ET 2011-02-09T19:19:27

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.

    1. Hoffman withdrew $1,200 hours before death: sources

      Philip Seymour Hoffman withdrew a total of $1,200 from an ATM at a supermarket near his New York City apartment the night before he was found lifeless in his bathroom with a syringe still in his left arm, sources told NBC News.

    2. NYC mayor will skip St. Pat's parade over gay ban
    3. Indiana man back home 18 years after abduction
    4. 32 states in the path of another wild storm
    5. Judge vows quick ruling on Va. marriage ban

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.

  1. Only on NBCNews.com
    1. OWN via Getty Images
      From belief to betrayal: How America fell for Armstrong
    2. pool via Reuters file
      US to Syria neighbors: Be ready to act on WMDs
    3. China: One-child policy is here to stay
    4. NRA: Practice Range
      New 'Practice Range' shooter game says it’s from NRA
    5. 'Gifted' priest indicted in crystal meth case
    6. AFP - Getty Images
      China's state media admits to air pollution crisis
    7. AFP - Getty Images
      French to send 1,000 more troops to Mali
Busch, 46, was the last in a long line of members of his family to head the iconic brewery, maker of Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, Busch and other beers. Despite his efforts to ward off a takeover, Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. was sold to Belgian brewer InBev in 2008, two years after Busch took over as chief executive officer upon his father's retirement.

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.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments