NEW: Hoffman was still wearing his glasses on his head when he was found, two sources say
Police find close to 50 envelopes of what's believed to be heroin, the sources say
Sources: His ex-partner said she saw him Saturday afternoon and thought he was high
Law enforcement sources tell CNN that a needle was found in Hoffman's arm
Police investigating the death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman have found close to 50 envelopes of what they believe is heroin in his Manhattan apartment, two law enforcement sources familiar with the inquiry said Monday.
A number of used syringes, prescription drugs and empty bags that authorities suspect used to hold heroin also were found in the apartment where Hoffman, 46, was found dead Sunday of an apparent drug overdose on the bathroom floor with a syringe in his left arm, the sources said.
The New York medical examiner’s office is conducting an autopsy, according to law enforcement sources.
“We are devastated by the loss of our beloved Phil and appreciate the outpouring of love and support we have received from everyone,” Hoffman’s family said in a statement. “This is a tragic and sudden loss and we ask that you respect our privacy during this time of grieving.”
The Oscar-winning actor last talked with someone at 8 p.m. Saturday, as far as authorities have determined, a law enforcement official said.
He was expected to pick up his children Sunday but didn’t show up, the official said. Playwright David Katz and another person went to the apartment and found him dead, the official said.
Police officers found him in a T-shirt and shorts with his eyeglasses still on his head.
Police also found several empty bags branded “Ace of Hearts” – a street name for heroin – in the apartment, two law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation told CNN.
Also in the apartment were close to 50 envelopes, branded “Ace of Spades,” containing what is believed to be heroin, the two sources said.
Investigators also found in the apartment, which was leased from a friend, according to the two sources:
• More than 20 used syringes in a plastic cup.
• Several other bags containing white powder.
• Prescription drugs, including the blood-pressure medication clonidine hydrochloride; the addiction-treatment drug buprenorphine; Vyvanse, a drug used to treat attention-deficit (hyperactivity) disorder; hydroxyzine, which can be used to treat anxiety; and methocarbamol, a muscle relaxer. Authorities are investigating whether Hoffman had prescriptions for these drugs, the sources said.
Hoffman loved ‘deep, dense characters’
The law enforcement sources told CNN that investigators have begun to piece together where Hoffman was in the days before his death by talking to his family and friends.
An assistant for Hoffman told police she saw him Friday at his apartment and there was nothing out of the ordinary. He also seemed fine when she spoke to him on Saturday at about 1:30 p.m. ET.
But Mimi O’Donnell, Hoffman’s ex-partner, told authorities that when she saw him near his apartment at 2 p.m. Saturday she thought he appeared to be high.
O’Donnell said she spoke with him on the phone about six hours later and again thought he seemed high, the sources said.
The next morning, on Sunday, Hoffman failed to show up at her home to pick up their three children.
At 11 a.m. she asked Katz to go to Hoffman’s apartment. He called police 30 minutes later.
Investigators, working on the theory that Hoffman’s death was a drug overdose, are now trying to find exactly where he bought the drugs, the sources said.
This will involve searching his phone in addition to tracking his movements, the sources told CNN.
Authorities also are looking into whether anyone was with the actor when he died, law enforcement officials said.
Hoffman loved ‘deep, dense characters’
Hoffman won an Academy Award for best actor for the 2005 biopic “Capote” and drew critical acclaim for his roles in a wide variety of films.
He was a beefy 5-foot-10-inch man, but was convincing as the slight, 5-foot-3-inch Truman Capote. He had a booming voice like a deity’s but often played shlubby, conflicted characters.
“He just loved those deep, dense characters. That’s where I think he found his true calling,” said Bradley Jacobs, a senior editor of Us Weekly.
In Hollywood, Hoffman’s big break came with a small role as Chris O’Donnell’s classmate in the 1992 film “Scent of a Woman.”
For years, Hoffman was the kind of anonymous character actor who earned critical raves but was often unnoticed by the general public. He used his abilities to take chances with such directors as a then-unknown Paul Thomas Anderson, with whom he worked in “Hard Eight” (and several ensuing films, as both became better known) and Todd Solondz (“Happiness”).
“I think about that a lot,” he told Esquire in 2012 of his anonymity. “I feel it cracking lately, the older I’m getting. I think I’m less anonymous than I was.”
As an actor, Hoffman could be heartfelt and giving, as with his male nurse in “Magnolia” or rock critic in “Almost Famous,” or creepily Machiavellian, like the gamemaster in the latest “Hunger Games” movie or a “Mission: Impossible” movie villain.
Cameron Crowe, who directed “Almost Famous,” said a notable scene in which Hoffman’s character Lester Bangs speaks with a young journalist about being uncool was not what Crowe had initially envisioned. He said in between takes Hoffman listened through his headphones to taped interviews with Bangs, a well-known rock music writer who died in 1982. Hoffman didn’t speak.
“When the scene was over, I realized that Hoffman had pulled off a magic trick. He’d leapt over the words and the script, and gone hunting for the soul and compassion of the private Lester, the one only a few of us had ever met,” Crowe wrote on his website. “The crew and I will always be grateful for that front-row seat to his genius.”