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Rachel Macmillan Died After Mugging, Her Brother Says

April 24, 1987 GMT

LONDON (AP) _ Rachel Macmillan, granddaughter of the late former Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, probably died from choking on her vomit in her sleep after a night out during which she was mugged at knifepoint, her brother said today.

Ms. Macmillan’s brother, publisher Alexander Macmillan, denied a published report that his 31-year-old sister, a former rock band manager, may have died of drugs or alcohol or both.

Ms. Macmillan died Wednesday night in Westminster Hospital.

Scotland Yard said a post mortem examination done today failed to establish the cause of Ms. Macmillan’s death.

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A Scotland Yard official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said: ″The post-mortem has ended and was inconclusive. We are now awaiting results of laboratory tests. But nothing suspicious was found and we are not treating it as a suspicious death.″

An inquest will be held, Scotland Yard said.

Ms. Macmillan was the daughter of former Conservative Cabinet minister Maurice Macmillan, who died in 1984. Maurice Macmillan was the son of Harold Macmillan, who was Conservative prime minister from 1957 to 1963, was made the Earl of Stockton in 1984, and died last Dec. 29 at age 92.

The Daily Mail reported Thursday: ″Police... believe that she died... from an overdose of drugs or drink or probably both... Police say they have not ruled out the possibility that she may have taken an overdose after scenes with friends... One detective said: ‘She is known to have been a drug user in the past and had been drinking heavily on the night before her death’.″

Scotland Yard declined to comment on the report.

Ms. Macmillan’s brother, who became the second Earl of Stockton after his grandfather’s death, said his sister was not drunk that night and did not take drugs.

She had been to a West End nightclub and left early Wednesday morning, said 43-year-old Lord Stockton, who is chairman of Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

On her way home, she was robbed at knifepoint by three men who took her cash, jewelry and keys after she got into their car, thinking it was a cab, he said.

Police said they were seeking three men in connection with the robbery, which they said happened at 4:15 a.m. Wednesday.

Lord Stockton said that after giving a statement to police, Ms. Macmillan contacted another brother, Adam, who drove her to her apartment.

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Because her keys had been stolen, Ms. Macmillan had to rouse a neighbor to let her into the building, he said.

Adam Macmillan left after she told him she planned to take a bath and go to sleep, Lord Stockton said.

″I will probably get into trouble with the coroner for preempting the inquest, but my own personal belief is that she choked while she was asleep and suffocated on her own vomit,″ he said. ″It is a very common thing to happen.″

Ms. Macmillan was separated from her Australian husband, record producer Leith Corbett. In 1978, she gave evidence in court which helped to smash a high society drugs ring.

In 1965, Ms. Macmillan’s brother Joshua died from a mixture of drugs and alcohol in his room at Oxford University. An inquest was told he had been taking heroin and cocaine.