Chris Cornell's wife, Vicky Cornell, has released a statement following the death of her husband at the age of 52 Wednesday. “Chris’s death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled,” Vicky said in a statement, as reported by Entertainment Weekly. “As everyone who knew him commented, Chris was a devoted father and husband. He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second. He flew home for Mother’s Day to spend time with our family. He flew out mid-day Wednesday, the day of the show, after spending time with the children. When we spoke before the show, we discussed plans for a vacation over Memorial Day and other things we wanted to do.”
Chris' death was ruled a suicide by hanging, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office. A full autopsy report has not yet been completed.
Vicky went on to say in her statement that she spoke to Chris after Soundgarden performed at the Fox Theatre in Detroit Wednesday night. “I noticed he was slurring his words; he was different. When he told me he may have taken an extra Ativan [an anti-anxiety medication] or two, I contacted security and asked that they check on him," she said. "What happened is inexplicable and I am hopeful that further medical reports will provide additional details. I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life.”
Detroit police received a 911 call just after midnight on Wednesday from a family friend who found Chris unresponsive on the bathroom, police spokesman Michael Woody told the Detroit Free Press. Another spokesman for the Detroit Police previously told the paper that the singer was found with a band around his neck.
Cornell family attorney Kirk Pasich also questioned whether Chris intentionally took his own life in a separate statement, via EW. “Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris — or if any substances contributed to his demise. Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions.”
Vicky concluded her statement by thanking fans for their condolences during this difficult time. “The outpouring of love and support from his fans, friends, and family means so much more to us than anyone can know," she said. "Thank you for that, and for understanding how difficult this is for us.”