Apr 1, 2015 3:47 AM

Natural causes or accident likely in Getty heir death

The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES (AP) Andrew Getty, among the heirs in a family whose name is synonymous with elite American wealth, was found dead in his Hollywood Hills home from was most likely natural causes or an accident, authorities and family members said.

Neither the coroner nor police had officially identified the man, but a statement from 47-year-old Andrew Getty's parents, Ann and Gordon Getty, confirmed it was him.

Gordon Getty is the San Francisco billionaire scion of the late J. Paul Getty, whose oil fortune made his family among the richest in U.S. history.

Andrew Getty's death appeared to be from natural causes, Los Angeles County coroner's Assistant Chief Ed Winter said, but it has been initially called an accident because of medication found at the scene. He said coroner's officials need to await the results of further examination and toxicology tests, which could take up to 10 weeks to process.

"The tentative information that we do have is that he was not feeling good for the last couple months," Winter said, "and he supposedly had an appointment tomorrow with a personal physician."

A woman calling to report that someone had died sent officers to the gated home on Montcalm Avenue shortly after 2:15 p.m. They found a man dead in a bathroom, police spokesman Jack Richter said.

Police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said the woman who had called police was cooperating with the investigation. Richter said she was not arrested and he did not know her identity.

Coroner's vans and news trucks were parked outside the century-old luxury home on one of the winding roads in the hills that are home to many of the film industry elite.

Getty is one of four sons of Gordon Getty, who is one of five sons of J. Paul Getty, the founder of the Getty Oil Co. who died in 1976 at age 82.

J. Paul Getty was an avid collector of art and antiquities, and the Getty name is perhaps best known in the Los Angeles area for the museum that houses much of it, along with many other high-priced artworks bought since his death.

Another Getty grandson, J. Paul Getty III, lost an ear in a grisly kidnapping in Rome when he was a teenager. The family reportedly stalled on paying a ransom, and the kidnappers cut off part of his ear, sending the severed organ to a newspaper to prove they had taken him captive.

The oil heir, then 16, was freed after five months in captivity and a payment of $2.7 million. He died in 2011 at age 54.


Associated Press Writers Robert Jablon in Los Angeles and Sudhin Thanawala in San Francisco contributed to this report.


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