The doctor who treated Prince shortly before his death has been identified, but many questions remain after the physician’s name wasn’t found on the federal list of doctors allowed to prescribe buprenorphine.
New York Daily News reports that Dr. Michael Todd Schulenberg was identified earlier this week as the physician who treated Prince at least twice before his death, including the day before the superstar singer died, on April 20. Yet records maintained by the Federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration indicate that Schulenberg isn’t in the database of physicians allowed to prescribe buprenorphine, a medication used to help control withdrawal symptoms and cravings of drugs such as opioids.
A search warrant indicates that authorities interviewed Schulenberg on April 21, only an hour before Prince was pronounced dead. Investigators with the Federal Drug Enforcement Administration are now trying to uncover criminal acts that may have led to the “Purple Rain” singer’s death.
On Tuesday night, DEA investigators and the Carver County Sheriff’s Office spent hours at Prince’s Paisley Park home, in a reported attempt to find anything that pointed to criminal activity, including the singer’s medical records, bank account information, and any evidence of anyone using fake names to obtain prescription medications. So far, there’s no indication that anyone used aliases to get prescription drugs.
Schulenberg, a family physician, worked for Minnesota’s North Memorial Health Care system, but a spokesperson stated that he’s no longer employed by the company. Schulenberg, who mysteriously left the company within the past three weeks, has since lawyered up and deactivated his LinkedIn account. According to a legal source uninvolved in the case, “Once federal authorities like the DEA start asking questions, people get pretty worried and go into hiding.”
On April 20, Andrew Kornfeld, a pre-med student, was sent to Minnesota by his father, Dr. Kornfeld, a prominent California-based addiction specialist physician, to help Prince. It was Andrew Kornfeld who made the panicked 911 call in an attempt to save the singer’s life. Buprenorphine was found in Andrew’s backpack.
His attorney stated that the medication was never given to Prince by Andrew, and that they were supposed to be given to Prince by a Minnesota physician who was to meet with Prince at Paisley Park on the day he died. The Minnesota doctor in question turned out to be Schulenberg.
On April 21, Schulenberg told investigators that he was only there to deliver test results, and that he had treated the “Little Red Corvette” singer on April 7, when an Atlanta concert was postponed, and again on April 20, the day before he passed away. Schulenberg admitted that he prescribed Prince medication that was filled at Walgreens.
Schulenberg earned his MBA in healthcare from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, in 2011. In 2012, he worked at the Ridgeview Medical Center in Carver County, and in the same year created a video, stating that he put in more than 50 hours a week as part of the Ridgeview “leadership group.”
“As a full-time family physician, that probably demands about 50 hours a week, I still deliver babies, so I can be called in on an unexpected basis and there goes my evening.”
Schulenberg left Ridgeview in 2014, according to company spokesperson Lisa Steinbauer.
Meanwhile, several people are coming forward claiming to be Prince’s children, including Carlin Q. Williams, a 39-year-old federal prison inmate who insists he is Prince’s son and sole heir to the singer’s fortune. According to Williams, his mother, Marsha Henson, had a one-night hook up with Prince in Kansas City in 1976. However, no DNA evidence yet substantiates Williams’ claim.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]