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Coroner: Former 'Celebrity Rehab' participant Joanie "Chyna" Laurer's death reported as possible overdose


By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 04/21/2016 

Former wrestler Chyna is suspected to have died from an overdose.

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The former Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew participant's sudden death was reported to the Los Angeles County coroner's department as a possible overdose, department spokesperson Ed Winter told USA Today.

An autopsy is expected to be conducted over the next two days, according to Winter, but the cause of death won't officially be determined until toxicology tests are complete, which could take weeks.

Sources told TMZ prescription bottles were found in Chyna's home, but there were no illegal drugs.

Police in Redondo Beach, CA, reportedly found Chyna -- whose real name was Joanie Laurer -- dead in her apartment at age 45 on Wednesday afternoon after a friend discovered she was not breathing. The friend finally checked on Chyna following several days of unanswered phone calls.

"From the preliminary investigation, it appears that the deceased passed away prior to being discovered by the friend," the police department said, according to USA Today.

Authorities are investigating the events that led up to Chyna's death, however, there were no signs of "foul play."

Chyna is the sixth former Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew participant to die in the last five years.

After wrestling for what is now the WWE, Chyna starred on Season 4 of VH1's The Surreal Life in 2005. She returned to the network in 2007 for The Surreal Life: Fame Games and then again in 2008 for the very first season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.

Chyna was treated for alcohol abuse on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew, however she also reportedly battled drug addiction.


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