LOS ANGELES (CNS) – An autopsy has been conducted on the body of actress Lindsey Pearlman, and her cause of death has been listed as “deferred, pending additional investigation,” authorities said today.
The body of the 43-year-old actress, whose credits included roles on “General Hospital,” “Empire,” and “Chicago Justice,” was found by Los Angeles police on Friday in a vehicle near Runyon Canyon Park.
Pearlman had last been seen at about noon on Feb. 13 in the 1600 block of North Mariposa Avenue in East Hollywood and had been reported missing. Police Friday had asked for the public’s help in finding Pearlman before her body was identified.
“Lindsey Pearlman was found in vehicle and pronounced dead on 2/18/2022 at 08:35 hours in the 7500 block of Franklin Avenue in Hollywood,” Sarah Ardalani, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County coroner’s office, told City News Service on Tuesday.
“She was examined by a physician and a cause of death was deferred,” Ardalani said. “Deferred means that after an autopsy, a cause of death has not been determined and the medical examiner is requesting more investigation into the death, including additional studies. Once the tests/studies come back, the doctor evaluates the case again and makes the cause of death determination.”
The process can take several weeks.
“The police found Lindsey,” Pearlman’s husband, Vance Smith, wrote in a statement on Instagram on the day the body was found. “She’s gone. I’m broken. I will share more later, but I wanted to [say] thank you to everyone for their love and efforts and ask you to respect the privacy of her family at this time.”
Her cousin, Savannah Pearlman, also shared the news on Twitter after earlier reporting that she was missing.
“I’m deeply sad to report that they have found Lindsey, and it was too late,” Savannah Pearlman tweeted. “I have no other information about the location or circumstance. Lindsey was a fierce animal advocate and a talented actress. Please consider a donation to (the Santé D’Or Foundation, http://www.santedor.org, an animal rescue and adoption center) in her honor.”
Frank Valentini, one of the producers of “General Hospital,” was among those who shared their condolences on social media. Pearlman had appeared on the show in 2020.
“Lindsey Pearlman was terrific on @GeneralHospital and we are saddened to hear of this tragedy,” Valentini tweeted. “Our hearts go out to her family and friends.”
On Friday, the Los Angeles Police Department had sought public assistance, noting “Pearlman failed to return home and has not been seen or heard from since. Friends and family fear for her safety.”
LAPD units were called at about 8:30 a.m. Friday to the area of Franklin Avenue and North Sierra Bonita Avenue, just south of Runyon Canyon Park in the Hollywood Hills West neighborhood, for a death investigation.
Her manner and time of death is pending determination by the coroner’s office. The police investigation also remains open.
Pearlman was a native of Chicago and a graduate of The Second City Conservatory, according to her personal website. She had been active in the Chicago theater community before relocating to California to pursue on-camera work.
Her theater credits included roles in “The Mousetrap” and “Never the Bridesmaid” for which she received the Joseph Jefferson Award for Actress in a Principal Role. She also performed in Second City Theatrical’s national tour of “The Realish Housewives: A Parody.”
Her other television credits include roles in “Selena: The Series,” “The Ms. Pat Show,” “Sneaky Pete,” “American Housewife” and “Vicious.” Pearlman also appeared in dozens of commercials for companies including Coors Light, T-Mobile and Sears.
Anyone with information about her death was urged to call LAPD detectives at 213-996-1800, 877-LAPD-247, or Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS.