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Prince’s doctor stumbled upon death scene while delivering test results

Pop icon Prince passed away on April 21 at his home in Chanahassen, Minn., at the age of 57. (Video: Erin Patrick O'Connor/The Washington Post)

A physician who had been treating Prince in his final weeks arrived at Paisley Park to deliver test results on the morning the musician was found dead, according to court records.

Michael Todd Schulenberg, who said he was a doctor at the North Memorial Medical Center in Minnesota, told investigators that he had treated Prince on April 7 and again on April 20, according to a search warrant obtained by the Los Angeles Times and the Minneapolis Star Tribune before the court documents were sealed.

Schulenberg “appeared on the death scene” at Paisley Park on April 21 — the day Prince’s body was discovered in an elevator at the compound in Chanhassen, Minn.

The Star Tribune reported that “the warrant does not describe the nature of the tests” whose results Schulenberg was planning to deliver that day.

According to the warrant, Schulenberg told investigators that he had prescribed medication for Prince. A person, who was not named, told the Star Tribune late last week that the doctor had been treating the musician for withdrawal symptoms from opioid addiction, noting that the doctor had not prescribed opioids.

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The warrant, which was filed May 6, authorized authorities to search for and seize Prince’s medical records, including photographs and prescriptions, at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale.

Lesa Bader, a spokeswoman for the North Memorial Health Care system, told the Los Angeles Times that Schulenberg no longer works for the center. She did not provide further details, citing privacy policies.

Neither Schulenberg nor his attorney could be immediately reached for comment.

The week of his death, Prince had been scheduled to meet with a Northern California doctor who specializes in treating opioid addiction.

Lawyer William Mauzy told the Star Tribune earlier this month that representatives for Prince called Howard Kornfeld, a doctor and medical director at Recovery Without Walls, but that Kornfeld could not make it to Minnesota to meet with Prince until April 22. Instead, he sent his son and associate, Andrew Kornfeld, to fill Prince in on the medical care that the clinic could offer him.

“The plan was to quickly evaluate his health and devise a treatment plan,” Mauzy told the newspaper. “The doctor was planning on a lifesaving mission.”

Mauzy told the Star Tribune that Andrew Kornfeld arrived at Paisley Park on April 21 with buprenorphine, a medication used to treat opioid addiction.

But Prince was nowhere to be found, Mauzy said.

He eventually was found in the elevator, and it was Andrew Kornfeld who called 911, said Mauzy, who is representing the Kornfelds.

Prince’s autopsy was completed April 22, but the Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office has said a full toxicology scan is likely to take weeks. The coroner’s office said last month that it will not release any information until “all results are obtained.”

Report: Prince died one day before scheduled meeting with opioid addiction specialist

The search warrant obtained by the Star Tribune and the Times further stated that about a week before Prince was found dead, a plane he was flying on had to make an emergency landing in Moline, Ill., “because of health concerns.”

Upon landing, the warrant stated, Prince was transported to a hospital.

The Star Tribune reported earlier this month that “sources with direct knowledge of the investigation have said that the landing occurred because Prince was overdosing on opioids.”

Prince’s bodyguard carried him to waiting paramedics at the airport and he was given a shot of the opioid antidote Narcan. He was taken to a hospital, but left within a few hours against medical advice.

Kirk Johnson, a friend of Prince’s, told investigators that the musician had been hospitalized for an illness in 2014 or 2015 and was given fluids at the time, according to the warrant.

In the days following Prince’s death, such reports prompted speculation that the musician had been using drugs. Sources told the Star Tribune at the time that Prince’s painkillers were found at the scene.

Prince’s longtime lawyer, L. Londell McMillan, disputed the claims, telling the Associated Press that although Prince may have taken medication, he was “not on any drugs that would be any cause for concern.”

“People use medication. The question is, ‘Are you on meds in a dangerous way?’ ” McMillan told the news agency, adding: “Everybody who knows Prince knows he wasn’t walking around drugged up. That’s foolish.

“No one ever saw Prince and said, ‘He looks high.’ It wasn’t what he was about.”

On Tuesday, agents with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and Carver County deputies were at the Paisley Park compound, where agents were carrying out a search warrant, a law enforcement source told CNN.

The investigation is still ongoing.


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