Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives are investigating the circumstances surrounding the fatal drug overdose of a 26-year-old man at the West Hollywood home of prominent Democratic donor Ed Buck.
Sheriff Jim McDonnell said Monday that while coroner’s officials ruled Gemmel Moore’s July 27 death an accident, homicide detectives will be conducting a follow-up investigation based on “additional information.” He declined to elaborate.
Initial investigations by deputies and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s office did not flag anything suspicious in Moore’s death, sheriff’s Capt. Chris Bergner said, but the new probe was being launched “out of abundance of caution.”
Seymour Amster, an attorney representing Buck, said Monday that his client had “nothing to do with this young man’s tragic death.”
He added that Moore, whom he described as a “good friend” of Buck, was found in a bathroom of the home, alone, with the door closed.
It was “a self-imposed accidental death,” he said. Buck, 62, did not return calls seeking comment.
Ed Winter, a spokesman for the coroner’s office, said Buck was inside the Laurel Avenue home at the time of Moore’s death and that drug paraphernalia was recovered from the scene.
The new investigation came amid calls by Moore’s family for a deeper examination of his death.
A family friend provided the Los Angeles Times with pages of what he said was Moore’s journal from December. The friend also provided a video showing him picking up the journal from the coroner’s office. In the purported journal entries, Moore writes about his drug use. He also makes accusations against Buck.