Robin Williams died because of asphyxia from hanging himself in his California home, police said Tuesday, confirming a day after the actor’s death that he had committed suicide.
The Marin County Sheriff’s Office also said Williams, who was 63, suffered “acute superficial” cuts to his wrist, and that a pocket blade was found near his body. A forensic examination showed no signs of a struggle, and toxicology results for Williams, who had long struggled with substance abuse and depression, won’t be available for about two to six weeks, police said.
Williams was last seen by his wife at 10:30 p.m. local time on Sunday when she went to bed. Williams’ personal assistant became concerned the next day when the actor failed to respond to knocks on his bedroom door. Upon entering, the assistant found Williams “clothed in a seated position, unresponsive, with a belt around his neck,” Lieutenant Keith Boyd told reporters during a news conference. He was pronounced dead shortly after noon on Monday.
Fans of the late comedian and actor gathered near the news conference in San Rafael, Calif., on Tuesday.
“It surprises me that someone who was so loved felt so alone,” said Leigh Carliglio of Contra Costa County. “He was loved, he was wonderful. This is devastating.”
She particularly remembers Mork & Mindy and then quickly adds Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin. “All of them.”
She was surprised to find out how he died. “We need more care for mental-health patients. We don’t understand how deep depression runs.”
Other fans filmed the news conference with their cell phones, lamenting how “a whole generation” grew up with Williams’ character in Mork & Mindy.
Outside Williams’ home in nearby Tiburon sat flower bouquets and notes address to “Robin.” A few fans lingered. “Anything he was in, I would go see it,” one said. “It’s just devastating. I have depression in my family.”
— Katy Steinmetz reported from San Rafael and Tiburon, Calif.