After years of struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, Rodney King was found dead at the bottom of the pool at his Rialto, California home early Sunday morning. His body was discovered by his fiancée, Cynthia Kelley, who said King had been drinking and smoking marijuana in the hours before his death, according to TMZ.
King discussed his lifelong struggle with alcohol addiction in his memoir, The Riot Within: My Journey from Rebellion to Redemption, which was released last April. King wrote he still occasionally used drugs and drank alcohol.
Kelley called 911 at 5:25 a.m. on Sunday after she heard a splash then found King at the bottom of the deep end of their pool. Neighbors reportedly heard crying and moaning from King’s backyard earlier that morning. Police soon arrived and attempted CPR, but there were no signs of life, according to Rialto Police Capt. Randy DeAnda.
King said his battle with alcohol abuse was under control in an April interview with People. After a DUI in July 2011, he said he no longer drinks “as much” as he used to. More importantly, he revealed that he “found peace.”
He is best known for being the victim of a police beating that sparked the Los Angeles riots in 1992. On that unfortunate night, King had been drinking before he engaged in a high-speed chase. Upon being pulled over, he was brutally beaten by officers, all of which was captured on camera.
An autopsy, scheduled for today, will determine the actual cause of death.