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Medical examiner: More tests needed in Smith death

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Posted: February 9, 2007 6:00 p.m.
Updated: February 24, 2007 5:00 a.m.
DANIA BEACH, Fla. — Prescription drugs were found in Anna Nicole Smith’s hotel room, but there were no pills in her stomach, and investigators said Friday they are awaiting tests that would tell whether the former centerfold died of an overdose, as some close to her suspect.
    Dr. Joshua Perper, the Broward County medical examiner, said no illegal drugs were found in her room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood. 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.
    Perper said there were no pills in Smith’s stomach and no other immediate indication of an overdose, but officials ‘‘do not exclude any kind of contribution of medication to the death.’’
    Describing signs of inflammation in Smith’s heart, Perper said he saw ‘‘something which looks a little bit unusual,’’ but added, ‘‘It may be nothing.’’
    He said it would take three to five weeks to conclude the investigation.
    Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger said there was no indication Smith was the victim of a crime, and 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, Perper said, including natural causes, a drug reaction or some combination.
    Smith apparently had been sick for several days with some kind of stomach flu, Perper said.
    Authorities planned to interview nurses and examine medical records before settling on a cause of death, Perper said.
    On Thursday, a private nurse found Smith unconscious in her room and called 911. Smith was declared dead at a hospital. She was 39.
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