US popstar Aaron Carter accidentally drowned in his bathtub because of drugs he had taken, a coroner’s report says.
Carter, 34, the younger brother of the Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, was found dead at his home in Lancaster, California on November 5.
The autopsy has now revealed that his death was caused by drowning due to the effects of sedatives he had taken and gas he had inhaled.
Alprazolam, often sold under the brand name Xanax, was found in his system.
The compressed gas difluoroethane was also detected. The report describes it as a “gas commonly used as a propellant in air spray cleaners” which “can induce feelings of euphoria when inhaled”.
Carter was last seen alive when police visited his home in the early hours of 4 November, the Associated Press reports. They were checking on him after he had been seen with an inhalant on an Instagram live video, according to a police report included in the autopsy findings.
Carter had asked the officers to leave. Later that day he missed an appointment with a drug counsellor, the police report said.
The following day a woman described as a housekeeper visited Carter’s home to offer him coffee. When there was no response she let herself in and found him lying unresponsive in a Jacuzzi-style tub with the jets still running.
Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.
Prescription bottles and cans of an electronic duster that he had used for inhaling were found by investigators.
Carter started his career opening for the boy band Backstreet Boys on a number of tours and concerts. During the late 90s and early noughties he sold millions of copies of his four albums, the first of which was when he was only nine years old.
His second album, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It), was released in 2000 and went triple platinum. Following the album he supported Britney Spears on the Oops!… I Did It Again tour. As he grew older, Carter transitioned into rap and also appeared in Broadway musicals and on the US TV show Dancing With The Stars.
He faced a number of struggles, checking in to rehab several times and filing a bankruptcy petition in 2013 over millions of dollars of debt, much of it tax-related. He also had several run-ins with authorities over drugs possession and reckless driving.
Carter’s son Prince was born in 2021 and, according to The Hollywood Reporter, he checked into rehab last year in a bid to gain custody of him.
Many paid tribute to Carter after his death, including Paris Hilton, Tyler Hilton and Hilary Duff, and bands New Kids on the Block and *NSYNC.