The Clark County, Nevada coroner’s office said in a posting on Twitter that it had taken jurisdiction over King’s body, and that autopsy results would take a minimum of six to eight weeks.
“Our coroner takes jurisdiction over #BBKing body, performs autopsy. Results: 6-8wks min,” it said, adding that a homicide investigation would be conducted along with the Las Vegas police department.
Two of King’s children, Karen Williams and Patty King, alleged that King was poisoned, ostensibly by two of his long-time associates including one who had power of attorney over his affairs. “I believe my father was poisoned and that he was administered foreign substances. I believe my father was murdered,” each woman said in statements contained in documents submitted by their lawyer.
An attorney for King’s estate called the allegations unfounded and disrespectful.
The women also claimed in video posted online that members of King’s family were prevented from visiting him by the two associates during his final days.
King, a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member who died in Las Vegas on May 14, had said earlier in the month he was in hospice care at his home after being hospitalised in April with dehydration related to diabetes.
King’s funeral was scheduled to be held on Friday in Mississippi. It was unclear whether the investigation would delay that.
An autopsy was performed on Sunday. Test results will take up to eight weeks to obtain and shouldn’t be affected by the fact that King’s body had been embalmed, Clark County coroner John Fudenberg said.
Attorney Brent Bryson said the allegations were “extremely disrespectful” to King. “He did not want invasive medical procedures,” he said.
“He made the decision to return home for hospice care instead of staying in a hospital. These unfounded allegations have caused Mr. King to undergo an autopsy, which is exactly what he didn’t want.”