In mid 1993, River was in LA, working on a film called, Dark Blood, for Fine Line Features. He was also signed to star in Interview With a Vampire, With Tom Cruise. While in LA, he usually stayed at the St. James’s Club and Hotel, on Sunset Boulevard.
On the evening of October 30th 1993, he went to The Viper Room, a club owned by Johnny Depp, at 8852 Sunset Boulevard. At 1:14 a.m. October 31, 1993 River was in full cardiac arrest when paramedics arrived and Paramedic Ray Ribar of the LA County Fire Department began to administer CPR. They rushed him to Cedars Sinai Medical Center where they arrived at 1:34. When they got there, his skin was dark blue, but his body was still warm. The ER physicians did everything to revive him, including inserting a pacemaker. He was pronounced dead at 1:51 am. on October 31, 1993.
River’s autopsy showed lethal levels of cocaine and morphine (heroin shows up as morphine, as the body metabolizes it), Valium, marijuana and ephedrine. Ephedrine is the main ingredient found in crystal meth. Official cause of death was Acute multiple drug ingestion. River Phoenix was 23 years old.