At 08:00 (16:00 UTC) on December 20, 2009, the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to "a medical request" at the Los Angeles home Murphy and Monjack shared. She apparently collapsed in a bathroom. Firefighters attempted to resuscitate Murphy on the scene. She was subsequently transported to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead on arrival at 10:04 after going into cardiac arrest.
The official cause of death is yet to be determined, but Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associated Press: "It appears to be natural." An autopsy was performed on December 21, 2009. Her death certificate lists the cause of death as "deferred". Full results will not be available for several weeks; authorities are looking into her medical records and toxicology reports.
Murphy was buried at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills on December 24, 2009.