Matthew Perry’s Death From Ketamine Sees LAPD & DEA Team-Up For Investigation On “Circumstances”

The book is far from closed on Matthew Perry’s death

Over six months after the Friends star died and was laid to rest in LA’s  Forest Lawn Memorial Park, the Los Angeles Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Agency are still looking into what happened last October.

More from Deadline

“There is an open investigation with the DEA,” an LAPD spokesperson told Deadline today.

Found in a hot tub, Perry died October 28 at age 54 at his home in Los Angeles. On December 15, 2023, the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner’s Office declared that Perry passed away from the “acute effects of ketamine.” The autopsy report also cited drowning, coronary artery disease and the effects of buprenorphine — a drug used to treat opioid use disorder — as contributing to his death.

After confirming the joint investigation with the DEA earlier Tuesday,, the LAPD has just issued a more formal statement:

On October 28, 2023, the Los Angeles Police Department responded to the residence of actor Matthew Perry to conduct a death investigation.  On October 29, 2023, an autopsy of Mr. Perry was performed by the Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner.  On December 15, 2023, the results of the autopsy indicated that Mr. Perry died from the “acute effects of ketamine.”  Based on the Medical Examiner’s findings, the Los Angeles Police Department, with the assistance of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the United States Postal Inspection Service, has continued its investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Perry’s death

While details such as when this phase of the probe officially started and which department is taking lead have not been made public yet, a law enforcement source tells Deadline that “there have been concerns for a while about how that much ketamine was in the deceased system.”

Though  believed by many to be sober at the time of his death, multi-Emmy nominated Canadian-American actor had a long and well-documented history of battling alcohol and prescription drugs abuse. In fact, not long before his death, Perry had been speaking aloud about his struggles and a desire to help other also fighting addiction. He detailed his past and present struggles in his 2022 best selling memoir, Friends, Lovers and the Big Terrible Thing.

Catapulted to fame with co-stars Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, David Schwimmer, Matt LeBlanc and Lisa Kudrow due to Friends‘ massively successful run from 1994-2004, Perry also went on to roles in The West Wing, Ally McBeal,  Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, Mr. Sunshine, Go On and The Odd Couple reboot.

“I think he’s probably one of the funniest human beings in the world. You know, he’s just so funny. He is genuinely a huge heart, obviously struggled,” co-star and Friends‘ spouse Cox said about Perry in a recent interview with CBS Sunday Morning. “I’m so thankful I got to work so closely with him for so many years. He visits me a lot, if we believe in that.”

“I talk to my mom, my dad, Matthew – I feel like there are a lotta people that are, I think, that guide us,” Cox added. “I do sense, yeah, I sense Matthew’s around for sure.”

Best of Deadline

Sign up for Deadline's Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.