- The Washington Times - Friday, February 9, 2007

DANIA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Prescription drugs were found in Anna Nicole Smith’s hotel room, but there were no pills in her stomach, and investigators said yesterday they are awaiting tests that would tell whether the former centerfold died of an overdose, as some close to her suspect.

Meanwhile, a judge in Los Angeles ordered that the model’s body be preserved for at least 10 days for a possible DNA test related to a paternity dispute.

Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward County medical examiner, said no illegal drugs were found in Mrs. Smith’s room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. He would not identify the prescription drugs.

But CNN quoted an unidentified law-enforcement source as saying investigators found a large amount of prescription medicine, including Valium and antibiotics, and over-the-counter cold and flu medication.

Dr. Perper said there were no pills in Mrs. Smith’s stomach and no other indication of an overdose, but officials “do not exclude any kind of contribution of medication to the death.”

He said it would take three to five weeks to conclude the investigation.

Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger said there was no indication Mrs. Smith was the victim of a crime, and Dr. Perper said the autopsy was able to exclude any types of physical injury such as blows to the body or asphyxiation.

“There are a number of possibilities” as to the cause of death, Dr. Perper said, including natural causes, a drug reaction or some combination.

Mrs. Smith apparently had been sick for several days with some kind of stomach flu, Dr. Perper said.

Authorities planned to interview nurses and examine medical records before settling on a cause of death, he said.

On Thursday, a private nurse found Mrs. Smith unconscious in her room and called 911. Mrs. Smith was declared dead at a hospital. She was 39.

Attorney Howard K. Stern, Mrs. Smith’s most recent companion, and Larry Birkhead, a former boyfriend, each claim that they are the father of Mrs. Smith’s baby, Dannielynn, who was born in September.

And in yet another strange twist in the case, a third man — the husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, Prince Frederic von Anhalt — stepped forward yesterday to claim he may be the baby’s father.

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