BUENOS AIRES — Greek heiress Christina Onassis died of an "acute pulmonary edema," or accumulation of fluid in her lungs, a federal judge said today.
Judge Juan Carlos Cardinali said the cause of death was included in a partial report he received from forensic experts who performed an autopsy on the daughter of the late Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis after her death Saturday.
The judge said he is still awaiting a determination on the cause of the edema as well as the results of a chemical analysis and other pathological studies performed on the body.
The 37-year-old Onassis apparently suffered a heart attack Saturday at the country club home of friends she was visiting. Heart attacks can cause the accumulation of fluid in the lungs, or pulmonary edema, a physician said.
Medical examiners, however, also were looking into the possibility of other causes of death. Judge Cardinali, in separate comments to the private news agency Noticias Argentinas, was quoted as saying the investigation was focusing on the possible "excessive ingestion of barbiturates."
Three jars of medicine and other evidence found in Onassis' bedroom were taken by police Sunday for analysis.