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Scott Sterling, the 32-year-old son of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling, was found dead at his Malibu apartment late Tuesday night. Detectives think drugs may be involved. Patrick Healy reports from Malibu for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on January 2, 2013.
UPDATE: The Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said Thursday that an autopsy had been completed for Sterling, but a cause of death will not be released until further tests are completed, including a toxicology report.
Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling's son, who was found dead late Tuesday, suffered from Type 1 diabetes, his family said in a statement released Wednesday.
"Our son Scott has fought a long and valiant battle against Type 1 diabetes," according to the Sterling family statement.
"His death is a terrible tragedy, the effects of which will be felt forever by our family and all those who knew and loved him. We sincerely appreciate the warm outpouring of sympathy and support from so many of our dear friends," according to the statement.
"At this time, we respectfully ask to be afforded the opportunity to mourn this loss in an appropriately private manner," according to the statement.
Scott Sterling, 32, was found dead at a beachfront residence in Malibu after what authorities called an "apparent drug overdose."
Homicide detectives responded to 22600 Pacific Coast Highway (map) at about 11:30 p.m. after receiving a call for a welfare check at Malibu Beach Villas. The caller told responding Los Angeles County Sheriff's deputies he had not heard from Scott Sterling for "several days."
Scott Sterling was pronounced dead at the location, but a cause of death was not immediately available from the coroner's office. He died of an "apparent drug overdose," according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department and coroner's office.
Scott Sterling was found unresponsive inside the unit in which he resided, according to investigators.
A coroner's van was at the residence -- records show the property is owned by Donald Sterling -- early Wednesday. An autopsy will be conducted before an official cause of death is determined.
The autopsy probably will not be conducted until Thursday or Friday, coroner's officials said.
Donald Sterling, who acquired the Clippers in 1981, is among the longest-tenured NBA owners. The team was located in San Diego at the time, and Sterling relocated the franchise to Los Angeles in 1984.
Donald Sterling, an attorney and real estate magnate, has homes in Malibu and Beverly Hills, according to the Clippers web site. Beverly Hills police interviewed Scott Sterling after responding to the Beverly Hills home in 1999 for a report of a shooting, but prosecutors did not file charges.
A long-time friend of Scott Sterling suffered non-life threatening injuries in the shooting after the two were involved in an altercation, according to police.