Two years after the sudden death of Prince by accidental fentanyl overdose, one of the lingering mysteries surrounding the enigmatic musician concerned how and where he obtained the powerful synthetic opioid that killed him and whether anyone would be held responsible.
On Thursday, law enforcement authorities in Minnesota closed a major part of their investigation, announcing that no one would be criminally charged in the case.
The Carver County attorney, Mark Metz, said in a news conference that Prince died after unknowingly taking counterfeit Vicodin that contained fentanyl, but that there was "no reliable evidence of how Prince obtained" the fatal drug.
"We have no direct evidence that a specific person provided the fentanyl to Prince," he said, adding that the investigation uncovered "no sinister motive, intent or conspiracy to murder Prince."
Dr. Schulenberg admitted no liability as part of the settlement and has maintained he did not prescribe drugs to anyone with the intention they be redirected to Prince. His lawyer said in a statement that Dr. Schulenberg "is not a target in any criminal inquiry and there have been no allegations made by the government that Dr. Schulenberg had any role in Prince's
Though Prince had been a strict proponent of sober living, friends said after his death that the singer had suffered from chronic hip pain that he was attempting to manage and perform through. After his death, "a sizable amount" of narcotics were found at his Paisley Park home and studio, where he died, according to search warrant documents. Among them were dozens of pills containing fentanyl, for which Prince did not have prescriptions, including some in aspirin bottles.
Prince, who was 57, was found dead in a Paisley Park elevator in Chanhassen, Minn., on April 21, 2016, by Mr. Johnson and others. A toxicology report, obtained by The Associated Press in March, found high concentrations of fentanyl in the singer's stomach, liver and blood. Fentanyl is often used to manufacture counterfeit pills that are sold on the black market as oxycodone and other pain relievers.
Mr. Johnson's lawyer, F. Clayton Tyler, has said that Mr. Johnson did not provide the drugs that caused Prince's death. Mr. Johnson still works at Paisley Park as an estate manager, according to his LinkedIn profile. He has not been questioned since the initial interviews, Mr. Tyler said.