"Glee" star Corey Monteith's autopsy was completed Monday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the British Columbia Coroner's Service told NBC News on Monday. There may be initial results released Tuesday but it all depends on the findings, she added.
Officials also said Monday that toxicology tests would be conducted as part of the investigation. The actor's young age, combined with some other factors gleaned from his medical history, led to the decision, the spokeswoman said. It can take weeks for toxicology results to be available but the Coroner's Service said officials will try to expedite the tests, given the public interest in the matter.
Monteith, 31, was found dead Saturday afternoon in a Vancouver, British Columbia, hotel where he had spent a week. When Monteith failed to check out on time, hotel staff went to his room and found him "clearly deceased," according to Vancouver acting police chief Doug LePard. Hotel video showed Monteith with other people in his hotel room on Friday night but he returned alone in the early morning hours, the acting police chief said.
At a press conference on Monday, Lt. Randy Finchman, a spokesperson for the Vancouver police department, said investigators interviewed hotel staff and other witnesses, reviewed video tapes and key room records, but did not disclose the condition of the hotel room or where Monteith was found. Finchman said it was "too early to speculate" whether drugs were involved in the young actor's passing.
In March, Monteith left the "Glee" set a few weeks early to enter rehab. After completing the program a month later, he was seen vacationing with his longtime girlfriend and "Glee" co-star Lea Michele in Canada. Adam Shankman, who directed three episodes of "Glee" told CNN that he had "several interactions" with Monteith on Saturday and he said he was "feeling fantastic again."
It's not clear what led to Monteith's recent troubles. Along with the rest of the "Glee" cast, he skyrocketed to fame four years ago and was a beloved member of the team both behind-the-scenes and with the show's audience. At McKinley High School, Finn Hudson was the star quarterback who could carry a tune, tried his best to dance and was always the show's heart and soul.
The actor, who grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, told Parade magazine in a candid 2011 interview that he struggled after his parents' divorce when he was 7, and by 13, he was skipping school to drink and smoke pot. By the time he was 16, he had attended 12 different schools and dropped out of high school and he was using drugs constantly. "Anything and everything, as much as possible," he said. "I had a serious problem." He went to rehab when he was 19, after his family threatened to call the police when he stole a large sum of money from a family member.
In an interview a few months later on a Canadian talk show, Monteith said he had talked about his drug addiction and criminal behavior publicly because he hoped to inspire other teens going through similar challenges. Monteith said he turned to drugs as a child because he didn't fit in and had no self-image.
"You see this young, all-American quarterback-looking dude on the show and you immediately made assumptions," he said. "I felt like I had to step in at some point and relate to people my experience and relate to people the truth of my life and where I come from...If I can, through my experience shed light on the way out of a difficult situation...that's huge."
To stay sober, even as he became a heartthrob, Monteith said, "I just try to do the next right thing. That’s all I can say. When you have this whole fame thing, it seems like so many opportunities and there’s so many opportunities to do the next wrong thing."
To others fighting the same demons, Monteith offered this advice: "Find something that inspires you. Find something that you can get excited about that will become your new direction."
First published July 15 2013, 12:52 PM