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Suicide Unlikely in Pop Star Death

April 6, 1998 GMT

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ German authorities investigating the death of Rob Pilatus, half of the former pop duo Milli Vanilli, said Monday they had found no evidence of suicide.

Milli Vanilli’s former producer, Frank Farian, said he suspected Pilatus died accidentally from a deadly combination of alcohol and prescription pills he was taking while in a drug withdrawal program.

Pilatus, 33, was found dead Friday in a hotel room near Frankfurt.

On Thursday, he had showed up ``very intoxicated and shivering all over″ at Farian’s studio, the producer said. Farian said he and his partner Ingrid Segieth became worried when Pilatus did not answer the phone Friday afternoon, and asked the hotel to check the room.

Farian said Pilatus was scheduled to fly to Bombay, India, on Wednesday.

Frankfurt prosecutor Job Tilmann, citing preliminary autopsy results, told a news conference there was no sign of violence and no indication of suicide.

Chemical tests to determine whether alcohol or pills were involved were pending, he added.

Segieth said Pilatus had previously threatened to commit suicide in the United States, but notified the media beforehand so he could be found in time. ``He wanted to get attention,″ Segieth said.

Police spokesman Inolf Ruippert said a passport was found showing that Pilatus was born in Munich, Germany, on June 8, 1964, but that there was no suicide note.

Pilatus is to be buried in Munich on Thursday.

He and his Milli Vanilli partner, Fabrice Morvan, won a 1989 Grammy for Best New Artist after hits like ``Blame it on the Rain″ and ``All or Nothing.″

In late 1990, the performers were stripped of the award when it was revealed that neither actually sang on Milli Vanilli records; the two unduly took credit for voice-overs sang by studio musicians.

The son of a U.S. soldier and a German mother, Pilatus worked as a model and dancer before joining Morvan in 1988 to form Milli Vanilli.