Thomas Kinkade died on Friday at his home in Los Gatos, south of San Francisco. His family said right away that he died of natural causes, but the police have been silent on the matter.
Sheila Sanchez of the Los Gatos Patch got a pretty big scoop with a day-after call to the Kinkade house:
A woman who answered the phone Saturday morning at the Monte Sereno home owned by the late American painter Thomas Kinkade said she was with him when he died Friday.“I am his live-in girlfriend. I’ve been with him 18 months. My name is Amy Pinto and him and his wife have been separated… I was with him. I’m the one who called 911.”As to the cause of death, she said she wasn’t supposed to divulge the information and that the Santa Clara County Coroner’s Office would have more details in the next few days.However, she stated she had a hunch as to the nature of the death. “He died in his sleep … He had a heart condition. I called 911 at 11:30 a.m.”
“They had been so proud of their longtime marriage, but in recent years, they lived apart so that Thom could be the ‘free spirit of an artist.’ The ending of an era. We miss him already.”