- The Washington Times - Monday, March 26, 2007

DANIA BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Anna Nicole Smith died of an accidental drug overdose after she was found unresponsive at a hotel, authorities said Monday.

“We found nothing to indicate any foul play,” said Chief Charlie Tiger of the Seminole police department.

Neither Tiger nor Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper immediately said what drug or drugs were involved in her death.

Smith, 39, had been found unresponsive Feb. 8 in her room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. The autopsy results were delayed for several weeks because police said they had found additional evidence that might have a bearing on the case.

Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper’s initial examination revealed no serious injuries. There also was no evidence, either in Smith’s stomach or her bloodstream, that she had taken large amounts of prescription medication.

Perper said prescription drugs, but no illegal drugs, were found in Smith’s hotel room. He wouldn’t identify them.

The initial examination also found signs of inflammation in Smith’s heart. Perper said it was “something which looks a little bit unusual” but “may be nothing.”

Smith had arrived at the Hard Rock on Feb. 5 and planned to leave four days later aboard a new yacht that her companion Howard K. Stern was arranging to buy. She was seldom seen outside her room during her stay: She was said to be suffering from a stomach flu before she died.

Because her death was so sudden, and because her 20-year-old son Daniel died under suspicious circumstances five months earlier, there has been speculation about possible criminal activity surrounding the deaths.

Perper said he knew of no criminal investigation into Smith’s death. The Seminole Police Department is investigating because the casino is on tribal land.

An inquest into Daniel’s death is scheduled to start Tuesday in the Bahamas, where he died.

Smith, 39, grew up in Texas and went from topless dancer to Playboy Playmate of the Year, Guess jeans model and bride of 89-year-old oilman J. Howard Marshall II. She took her fight for Marshall’s estimated $500 million fortune as far as the Supreme Court, and the ongoing battle could make her infant daughter, Dannielynn, very wealthy. Stern and two other men have claimed to be the baby’s father.

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