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Wrestler's slain son was probably sedated, investigators say

  • Story Highlights
  • Testosterone found in wrestler Chris Benoit's body, officials said
  • Xanax and other drugs found in his wife, Georgia ME says
  • Benoit is believed to have killed his wife and son in June, then killed himself
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ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- Investigators found testosterone, painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs in the body of professional wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed his wife and son last month before hanging himself in his Atlanta home, a medical examiner said Tuesday.

Investigators found steroids in the body of pro wrestler Chris Benoit, who killed his family in June.

Dr. Kris Sperry, Georgia's chief medical examiner, said the body of Benoit's wife, Nancy, also contained painkillers and anti-anxiety drugs.

Sperry said it's likely the Benoits' 7-year-old son, Daniel, was sedated at the time he was murdered, because a high level of the anti-anxiety drug Xanax was found in the boy's system.

Xanax is not normally prescribed for children, Sperry said.

Chris Benoit's body contained an "elevated" level of testosterone and therapeutic levels of Xanax and the painkiller hydrocodone, Sperry said.

But, he said, the level of testosterone revealed nothing conclusive about the wrestler's state of mind before his death.

"There's no reliable scientific data that says elevated levels of testosterone lead to psychotic rage," Sperry said.

"The only thing we can ascertain is that this level of testosterone indicates that he had been using testosterone at least in some reasonably short period of time before he died," he said. "It could be an indication he was being treated for testicular insufficiency."

The investigators found no other drugs, including steroids, in Benoit's body.

The investigation into the Benoits' deaths led to speculation that the wrestler may have been injecting steroids and had experienced what is called " 'roid rage," leading him to kill his wife and son.

An official who is part of the investigation told CNN last month that Benoit's name was on receipts that indicated he had purchased shipments of anabolic steroids and human growth hormones from Signature Pharmacy.

The Orlando, Florida, facility is at the center of a nationwide investigation into the sale of illegal steroids.

Phil Astin, Benoit's personal doctor, has been indicted by a grand jury on seven charges of improperly dispensing and distributing painkillers and other drugs. Astin has been released on $125,000 bond and is under house arrest.

Although Benoit's name was not mentioned in Astin's indictment, his arrest stemmed from the investigation into the Benoits' deaths.

"Through prescription records for Mr. Benoit maintained at a pharmacy in Fayetteville, Georgia, Dr. Astin was identified as prescribing, on average, a 10-month supply of anabolic steroids to Mr. Benoit every three to four weeks from May 4, 2006, through May 9, 2007," the U.S. attorney's office said.

Sperry said the body of Nancy Benoit also contained therapeutic levels of hydrocodone and Xanax, along with hydromorphone, which he said is a byproduct of the breakdown of hydrocodone.

Nancy Benoit's blood alcohol level was .184, which is over the legal limit for intoxication, but Sperry said all of the alcohol found in her body "could come from the decomposition process."

Sperry said investigators did not have enough specimen to test for steroids or human growth hormone in Daniel's body. Daniel's body showed signs of needle marks at the time of his death, but Sperry could not speculate why.

District Attorney Scott Ballard would not answer questions about the state of the investigation into the Benoits' deaths, which he said is ongoing.


"We'd rather wait until we have more of the pieces so we can be more accurate and discuss more of a whole what happened," he said. "We're trying to envision as best we can what happened inside that household. This (the toxicology report) adds one element to all the other elements."

Police have said Benoit, 40, strangled his wife, Nancy, and suffocated Daniel, then placed Bibles next to their bodies before hanging himself on a portable weight machine over the weekend of June 23. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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