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03 July 2009

Asphyxia likely killed Carradine

The private pathologist who conducted a second autopsy on David Carradine's body said that Thai authorities have determined the actor died of asphyxia and so far, he agrees.

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The private pathologist who conducted a second autopsy on David Carradine's body said that Thai authorities have determined the actor died of asphyxia and so far, he agrees.

"Thus far, the information we have gathered is consistent with that," Dr Michael Baden said. But he noted that he is waiting for key details from Thai authorities. Those include results from toxicology tests, an analysis of items found in Carradine's room, security surveillance footage and a log of room entries from the hotel's key card system.

Not suicide
The famed New York pathologist said he cannot yet determine whether Carradine's death was accidental or a homicide. Baden performed a second autopsy on Carradine's body after it was returned to the United States. The actor was buried on June 13 in Los Angeles.

His immediate conclusion was that the "Kill Bill" actor didn't die of suicide.

Thai police initially said they suspected Carradine's death was a suicide, but later conceded it could have been accidental. Their description - that the actor's body was found nude, with ropes around his neck, wrist and genitals - fuelled speculation that he was killed while engaging in a dangerous sex practice called autoerotic asphyxiation.

Baden said autoerotic asphyxiation remains a possible cause of death.

Some suspect foul play
Some of Carradine's friends have said they suspect foul play in his death. His brothers, Keith and Robert, have urged patience until all information is available and promised to release the results of Baden's inquiry.

Baden said he is waiting to talk to a pathologist in Thailand about some of the missing details he needs. "When we've spoken to them, they've been very cooperative," he said. He noted they have already received crime scene photographs. Baden has said the autopsy would be only part of his analysis.

Speculation about the actor's death has swirled since a chambermaid at the luxury Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel in Bangkok discovered his body hanging in the closet of his room June 4. A Thai newspaper published a graphic photo of the death scene that police have said appears to be a leaked forensics image.- (Anthony McCartney/Sapa, July 2009)

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