By Michael Pearson
PHILADELPHIA (CNN) — The day before Prince died, his team called an eminent opioid addiction specialist in California seeking help with “a grave medical emergency,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune newspaper reported.
Dr. Howard Kornfeld sent his son on an urgent overnight flight to Prince’s Paisley Park estate in Minnesota, but it was too late.
The doctor’s son, Andrew Kornfeld, was with the group that discovered Prince’s body on April 21, according to the newspaper, which cited William Mauzy, a Minneapolis attorney whom the newspaper said is working with the Kornfelds.
According to the newspaper, Andrew Kornfeld is the voice heard on the 911 call alerting authorities to trouble at Prince’s Chanhassen, Minnesota, estate.
Howard Kornfeld runs “Recovery Without Walls,” which specializes in treating opioid addiction among other issues, according to its website. His son is a practice consultant there.
Opioids found with Prince’s body
A law enforcement source told CNN last week that investigators had found opioid medication with Prince’s body.
CNN was attempting to reach Mauzy, Howard Kornfeld and Prince representatives for comment Wednesday.
According to the newspaper’s account, Prince representatives called Dr. Howard Kornfeld on April 20.
Kornfeld had other commitments he could not change, but sent his son, Andrew Kornfeld in his place, the newspaper said. The elder Kornfeld planned to fly out the following day, and hoped to bring Prince back to California for long-term treatment, the newspaper reported.
Andrew Kornfeld took an overnight flight to Minnesota and met with Prince’s representatives the morning of April 21, the Star Tribune reported.
“The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan,” the newspaper quoted Mauzy as saying, adding the elder Kornfeld was “planning on a lifesaving mission.”
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But Andrew Kornfeld and two of Prince’s representatives could not initially find the musician, Mauzy told the newspaper. The trio finally found Prince, unresponsive, inside an elevator, Mauzy said.
It was Korneld who called 911, Mauzy said. The others were too distraught, he said.
According to the Star Tribune story, Andrew Kornfeld had with him a small amount of a medication called buprenorphine, also known as Suboxone, which helps reduce opioid cravings. That treatment was never administered, he said, according to the newspaper.
Suboxone is a medication approved by the FDA for the treatment of opiate dependence such as heroin addiction. It binds to the same receptors as opiates and renders them ineffective, according to experts.
Investigators also believe a health scare about a week before Prince’s death, which caused an unscheduled landing of his plane in Illinois, was likely the result of a reaction to the pain medication, a law enforcement source said.
Results of an April 22 autopsy are still pending.
Last week, a Carver County, Minnesota, judge appointed Bremer Trust to manage Prince’s estate after it was revealed he did not have a will.
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