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Police looking into death of model, 27, at home of Busch beer heir

By the CNN Wire Staff
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: August Busch IV is the only member of his family on Anheuser-Busch InBev's board
  • The body of Adrienne Nicole Martin, 27, is found in a Missouri home, police say
  • The Frontenac home belongs to Busch, a former CEO of Anheuser-Busch
  • Busch's lawyer says there's nothing suspicious in the "tragic death ... of a nice young lady"

(CNN) -- Missouri police are investigating the death of a 27-year-old woman whose body was found this week at the home of beer tycoon August Busch IV.

Frontenac, Missouri, police officers got a 911 call just before 1:15 p.m. last Sunday about an unresponsive woman at a residence later identified as belonged to Busch, the town's police chief, Thomas Becker, said in a news release.

Paramedics and police officers arrived eight minutes later to find Adrienne Nicole Martin dead, "with no apparent signs of trauma or other indications of cause of death," Becker said.

Busch's lawyer, Art Margulis, on Friday described Martin as a friend of his client.

"There's absolutely nothing here that would indicate that this occurred under any suspicious circumstances," said Margulis. "It's a tragic death of a ... very nice young lady."

Police in Frontenac, where the home is located, said they are investigating the death with help from the St. Louis County medical examiner. The community of about 3,500 people is 11 miles west of St. Louis.

Martin was a model and aspiring art therapist, described as Native American on her page on iStudio.com, which says it serves "the modeling, photography, and associated industries." In the About Me section of her page, she writes that she had been in beauty pageants for years and "would really like to do beer advertising."

Busch, 46, became chief executive officer of Anheuser-Busch in December 2006, after years of working in the company's brewing, operations and marking divisions. He was in charge in 2008 when Belgian brewer InBev engineered a $52 billion takeover of the then-St. Louis, Missouri, company. With that move, the combined Anheuser-Busch InBev became the world's largest brewer.

"It was a very difficult time, when August Busch IV took over," said Julie MacIntosh, author of the book "Dethroning the King" focusing on the last decade of Anheuser-Busch. "On a personal level, it was difficult for (August Busch IV) when the company was taken over."

He and several other members of his family, including his father and fellow former CEO August Busch III, took home tens of millions of dollars from the move, said MacIntosh.

That also largely ended the Busch family's long legacy in brewing, namely heading the legendary eastern Missouri institution known for its Budweiser and other brands. The story started with Adolphus Busch, the company founder and August Busch IV's great-grandfather.

August Busch IV is the only representative of the family -- and its former namesake company -- on the Anheuser-Busch InBev board of directors.

CNN's Greg Botelho contributed to this report.

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