Pasich also tells ET that the grunge icon's wife, Vicky Cornell, is doing her best to deal with his death. The couple had been married since 2004 and shared two children together, 12-year-old daughter Toni and 11-year-old son Christopher.
"Chris' death is a loss that escapes words and has created an emptiness in my heart that will never be filled," the statement read. "He was my best friend. His world revolved around his family first and of course, his music, second."
Last week, the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office told ET that Cornell's autopsy had been completed and the cause of death was ruled suicide by hanging, though Vicky as well as Pasich have called the ruling into question.
"I know that he loved our children and he would not hurt them by intentionally taking his own life," Vicky said in a statement.
"Without the results of toxicology tests, we do not know what was going on with Chris -- or if any substances contributed to his demise," Pasich added. "Chris, a recovering addict, had a prescription for Ativan and may have taken more Ativan than recommended dosages. The family believes that if Chris took his life, he did not know what he was doing, and that drugs or other substances may have affected his actions."
Cornell was honored Saturday with a special tribute during night one of the Rock on the Range festival in Columbus, Ohio. Soundgarden was scheduled to headline the music event before the rocker's unexpected death on Wednesday night. He was 52 years old.
If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).