Los Angeles officials have apologised to the family of Notorious B.I.G. for releasing the late rapper's autopsy to the public before notifying them.

A gruesome report detailing the coroner's findings was released on Friday (07Dec12), 15 years after the hip-hop icon, real name Christopher Wallace, was gunned down on 9 March, 1997.

Now detectives at the Los Angeles Police Department's Robbery-Homicide Division have reached out to Wallace's family to make amends for the "premature" autopsy, calling the release an "administrative error".

Commanding Officer of Robbery-Homicide Division Captain Billy Hayes says, "Our detectives personally spoke with the Wallace family last night, and apologised for not notifying them prior to the release.

"Obviously this has been a challenging case for us to solve. We hope that witnesses or other people with information will come forward and give us the clues we need to solve this case."

The 23-page document describes the four gunshot wounds the Hypnotize hitmaker sustained in a drive-by shooting in Los Angeles.

His murder remains unsolved.