It was murder.
Laurie Kelsoe, who appeared on theToday show this morning, said, "From the minute I got the call I knew it was not suicide."
His mother spoke HLN's Jane Velez-Mitchell last night.
"Anyone who knew Russell would know how out of character anything like this was," said Armstrong's mother.
Armstrong was the husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Taylor Armstrong.
He was said to have been negotiating major business deals just days before his death. Not the behavior of someone considering suicide, says his family.
They also point to the death of Armstrong's business associate, Alan Schram. Schram who apparently died by suicide, was found dead the very next day after Armstrong's body was found. Neither man left a note.
Armstrong's family has reportedly hired a private investigator to look into the "truth behind his death."
When we spoke to Armstrong's sister, Laurie Kelsoe, she stopped short of calling it murder, but was clearly having doubts about what caused his death.
"The fact that it was suicide, is something I would never ever [expect] from him, it's just not our beliefs that you do that, not even as a last resort," said Kelsoe.
The just-released autopsy report does not support the family's claims of murder.
Armstrong is described as 181 pounds and 5'7".
"There are no signs of foul play," said the medical examiner.
An orange extension cord was found wrapped "3 times" around his neck. The medical examiner concluded, "The manner of death is suicide."