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Son of Orange County Pastor Rick Warren will get an autopsy

April 06, 2013|By Jack Leonard and Stephen Ceasar
  • Rick Warren is seen at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest in 2010.
Rick Warren is seen at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest in 2010. (Jae C. Hong, Associated…)

Coroner’s officials plan to conduct an autopsy on the youngest son of Orange County Pastor Rick Warren next week to determine an official cause of death, a routine event in cases where suicide is suspected, authorities said Saturday afternoon.

Matthew Warren’s death at his home on Pradera Drive in Mission Viejo was reported to Orange County sheriff’s officials at about 5:25 p.m. Friday, said Supervising Deputy Coroner Dan Aikin.

Aikin said he could not confirm an earlier report by coroner’s officials to City News Service that Warren, 27, died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. He said a cause of death could not be confirmed until after an autopsy is completed Tuesday.

Rick Warren, a world-famous Orange County evangelical pastor, and his wife released a statement informing his congregation at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest that his youngest son had committed suicide after battling depression for much of his life.

Matthew was an “incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate man. He had a brilliant intellect and a gift for sensing who was most in pain or most uncomfortable in a room. He’d then make a beeline to that person to engage and encourage them,” the statement said.

The statement said that Matthew Warren took his life “in a momentary wave of despair” following an evening spent with Warren and his wife.

"Kay and I’ve been privileged to hold your hands as you faced a crisis or loss,” the statement said. “Today we need your prayers for us.”


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