A leading forensic pathologist believes that the musician Prince may have taken a familiar painkiller laced with Fentanyl in the hours before his death in April last year.

Dr. Michael Hunter examined the star's health records for a new film made for the Autopsy series. Hunter believes the musician reached for his Percocet pills to help him deal with drug withdrawal, not realising he was taking something exceptionally potent.

The pathologist claims symptoms Prince's personal chef observed in the days before the singer's death suggest Prince may have been suffering from drug withdrawal for about a week before his death.

"The fever, nausea and cramps that he was experiencing, according to the chef, may have caused him to relapse and reach for what he thought was a familiar painkiller," the medic says in the new documentary.

"I think that Prince probably didn't know that the pills he took that night had Fentanyl in them. I believe Prince died from a tragic accident bordering on homicide."

The pathologist argues that the rock star obtained painkillers illegally as there is no record of an official prescription for the pills, which were discovered in the singer's luxurious home at Paisley Park, Minnesota.

Prince was discovered slumped in the elevator at Paisley Park. A local coroner ruled he had suffered a Fentanyl overdose.