Earlier Monday, Winehouse’s body was identified by her parents and is expected to be released to her family shortly so that they can prepare for a funeral.
Sharon Duff, a coroner at St Pancras Coroner’s Court in North London, said that a “Section 20” postmortem had been carried out on the body of the 27-year old singer, who died Saturday, but Duff did not disclose any of its findings.
In British postmortem cases where a sudden death is deemed not suspicious and the Coroner believes that no inquest is necessary, he or she can order a Section 19 Post Mortem under the terms of the 1988 Coroner’s Act in Britain.
A Section 20 postmortem, as Winehouse had, however, implies that the Coroner believes “there is reasonable cause to suspect that a person has died a violent or unnatural death or in any other way which would require an inquest,” according to guidelines. It suggests that the authorities are mounting a more lengthy and serious investigation into the circumstances around Winehouse’s death, although the Coroner also reported that at the scene had been investigated by police and “determined non-suspicious.”
At a brief two-minute hearing on Monday, Duff told St Pancras Coroner’s Court:
“I bring before you the death of Amy Jade Winehouse aged 27, born on the 14th September 1983 in London. She was a divorced woman living in Camden Square NW1. She was certified dead at her home by a paramedic and a doctor on July 23. She was a singer songwriter at the time of her death and was identified by her family here at St Pancras this morning. A section 20 post mortem has been carried out and histology and toxicology taken to determine the cause of death. The scene was investigated by police and determined non-suspicious.”
Assistant Deputy Coroner Suzanne Greenaway also said: “I’m formally opening this inquest. I’m issuing interim certificates to allow Miss Winehouse’s family to make arrangements for the funeral.”