OK, this won’t actually have a factual answer, so I’m soliciting any informed opinions:
So, I had this friend, whom I had lost contact with, who died three years ago. I just found out this year.
So. . . not knowing any of her family, and not finding anyone who had any details, I ordered a copy of her death certificate. Didn’t know whether the Bureau of Vital Records would honor it, but I did all the paperwork, and they did indeed send one to me.
The cause of death was listed as “blunt head trauma.” Also, she was apparently found at her home after she did not show up for work.
However, the death certificate was amended two months later. Unfortunately, they did not send a copy of the amendment. That is, it was apparently on the “other” side, which they did not copy.
Some more facts: I know that she had struggled with an alcohol problem, and I strongly suspect that she had. . . uh. . . “issues” with prescription painkillers.
I inferred from the lack of any press accounts indicating foul play, or the search or discovery of a suspect that possibly what had happened was that she had been doped up on some combination of alcohol and/or painkillers, and had fallen down her stairs. And the two-month delay in the amended death certificate was possibly the result of getting all the toxicology reports confirmed.