(FOX/CNS) - Brittany Murphy's hair shows evidence of rat poison, demonstrating she was poisoned and that a search for the killer must be launched, her father said in remarks published today.
Angelo Bertolotti told New York's Daily News that high levels of Barium, a rat poison, were found in hair that belonged to the "Clueless" star, who died in Los Angeles in 2009 from what authorities said was pneumonia. Five months later, her husband, Simon Monjack, also died from pneumonia.
New toxicology results paid for by Bertolotti show the actress may have been poisoned before her death, according to the Daily News.
The independent analysis ordered by Bertolotti found high levels of toxic metals, including Barium, which is used in some rat poisons, in Murphy's hair, he said Monday.
Murphy, 32, died in December 2009 from acute pneumonia and severe anemia possibly complicated by therapeutic drugs, the Los Angeles County Coroner ruled.
Coroner's Chief Craig Harvey said his office provided hair samples and samples of other preserved materials -- at Bertolotti's request -- to a testing facility chosen by Bertolotti. The coroner's office has not been contacted by Bertolotti since that time, however, and it stands by its findings in the case.
"Nothing has been presented to the coroner's office for review," Harvey told City News Service this morning.
Bertolotti fought in Los Angeles County Superior Court for access to what he said was Murphy's previously untested hair samples. He suggested in his court filing that chronic arsenic poisoning is sometimes misdiagnosed as anemia.
The case was permanently dismissed in May, court records show."The lab has shown that she was poisoned with criminal intent," Bertolotti told the Daily News. "We would like the investigation opened again to discover who did it. So as not to jeopardize the new investigation, I can't say who I suspect as of yet."
A source close to Murphy's mother, Sharon Murphy, questioned where Bertolotti got the hair used in the private test. The source said Sharon is the sole heir to Brittany's estate and likely would have been notified if remains were handed over to Bertolotti, the Daily News reported.
The story of Brittany's passing gained added attention when her husband died from pneumonia at age 40, five months after she did.