Authorities search for Aaron Carter's cause of death as clues emerge

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LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 19: Singer/songwriter Aaron Carter attends Project Angel Food's 2017 Angel Awards on August 19, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alison Buck/Getty Images for Project Angel Food)

The Los Angeles County's coroner's office performed an autopsy on singer Aaron Carter, who was found dead at his home in Lancaster on Saturday, but officials deferred declaring a cause of death pending chemical tests.

Carter, 34, was found dead in his bathtub, according to two law enforcement sources who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

L.A. County sheriff’s deputies said they received a call about 11 a.m. from a housekeeper who found Carter unresponsive. Authorities said they were investigating the circumstances surrounding his death.

A source told The Times that investigators found evidence of medications and compressed air in the home's master bedroom and bathroom. According to the source, who was familiar the investigation but not authorized to discuss it publicly, Carter had been in the bath water for some time when his body was discovered.

Toxicology results from the autopsy could take several weeks.

The former child star and younger brother of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter started his career with his self-titled debut album in 1997 at age 9. That year, he toured with the Backstreet Boys as an opening act. He also opened shows for Britney Spears.

Carter quickly gained a following with songs like “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” “Crazy Little Party Girl,” “I Want Candy” and “That’s How I Beat Shaq.”

Carter was open about his struggles with mental health and substance abuse. His 25-year-old sister died of a prescription drug overdose in 2012, leading him to say he “would never overtake” medication.

Carter said in September that he had enrolled in rehab for a fifth time, seeking to regain custody of his 10-month-old son, Prince, who was under the court-ordered care of his fiancée’s mother. Carter said his previous attempts to wean himself from medications that had been prescribed during rehab resulted in his going to “a very dark depressive state” and that he “didn’t function normally.”

In September, deputies checked Carter’s home after fans feared he was using drugs. But authorities found no drugs, according to a law enforcement source.

That same month, Carter put his seven-bedroom home on the market, recently dropping the asking the price to $799,900. When tweeting on Oct. 29 that he was selling his second home, he said he was "ready for a new chapter in my 3rd home, which I plan in staying to make a beautiful life for my family."

This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.