Official: Andrew Getty, Heir to Family’s Oil Fortune, Appears to Have Died of Natural Causes or an Accident

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, left, talks with Capt. William Hayes at the entrance to Montcalm Avenue in the Hollywood Hills, where the body of Andrew Getty was found. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)
LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, left, talks with Capt. William Hayes at the entrance to Montcalm Avenue in the Hollywood Hills, where the body of Andrew Getty was found. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times)

Andrew Getty, an heir to the Getty oil fortune, appears to have died of natural causes or an accident inside his Hollywood Hills estate, a coroner’s official said.

A time of death has not been determined, but a preliminary investigation suggests that foul play was not involved, authorities said. A security hold — a directive from detectives to the coroner’s office not to publicly disclose details about a case — has been placed on Getty’s coroner’s file.

A law enforcement source told The Times that Getty was found naked from the waist down in the bathroom of his Hollywood Hills estate Tuesday and appeared to have suffered from some type of blunt-force trauma. It’s unclear whether the injury was caused by a fall or something else.

LAPD Cmdr. Andrew Smith, a department spokesman, cautioned that it was still “very, very early in the investigation” but said that based on initial observations, “this does not appear immediately to be a criminal act.”

L.A. County coroner’s office spokesman Ed Winter said Getty appeared to have died of natural causes or an accident.

In San Francisco, Ann and Gordon Getty confirmed their son’s death in a statement in which they asked for privacy during an “extremely difficult time.”

Police and coroner’s officials have yet to release the name of the man whose body was found Tuesday afternoon at the gated, three-story villa on Montcalm Avenue.

Inside, investigators recovered prescription medication and learned that the man had not been feeling well in recent months, Winter said. A physician’s appointment was scheduled for Wednesday.

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SOURCE: MATT HAMILTON, KATE MATHER, JAVIER PANZAR AND RICHARD WINTON
The Los Angeles Times

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