BANGKOK - The body of American actor David Carradine, best known for the 1970s TV series "Kung Fu," was found in a hotel room closet with a rope tied to his neck and genitals, and his death may have been caused by accidental suffocation, Thai police said today.
The 72-year-old actor's body was discovered Thursday in his luxury suite at Bangkok's Swissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel. Police initially said they suspected suicide, though Carradine's associates had questioned that theory and authorities later said no suicide note was found in his room.
Police Lt. Gen. Worapong Chewprecha told reporters that Carradine was found with a rope tied around his genitals and another rope around his neck.
"The two ropes were tied together," he said. "It is unclear whether he committed suicide or not or he died of suffocation or heart failure."
Thai police completed an autopsy on Carradine today. But Police Col. Somprasong Yenthuam, superintendent of the Lumpini police station, which is handling the case, said results would not be ready for at least three weeks because the cause of death was unclear. He called the time lag "normal."
Dr. Nanthana Sirisap, director of Chulalongkorn Hospital's Autopsy Center, told reporters that the autopsy was conducted because of the "unusual circumstances surrounding Carradine's death," but did not elaborate.
Police Lt. Teerapop Luanseng had said Thursday that Carradine's body was found "naked, hanging in a closet," and that police at the time suspected suicide.
But one of Carradine's managers dismissed the theory.
"All we can say is, we know David would never have committed suicide," said Tiffany Smith of Binder & Associates, his management company. "We're just waiting for them to finish the investigation and find out what really happened. He really appreciated everything life has to give ... and that's not something David would ever do to himself."