Cause Of Anna Nicole's Death Postponed

Brower County, Florida Medical Examiner JOSHUA PERPER (corr) has postponed the determination of the cause and manner of ANNA NICOLE SMITH'S DEATH, but hasn't ruled out the actress/model died of natural causes. Perper held a press conference in Florida minutes ago (09FEB07), leading many to speculate he'd reveal how Smith, 39, died on Thurday (08FEB07) - but he explained it will take him and his staff up to five weeks to determine how the model died. The examiner told press his autopsy findings had ruled out "any kind of physical injuries, such as blunt-forced trauma, gunshot wound, stab wounds or asphyxia" as a cause of death. Dr Perper also revealed he found "a small amount of blood in the stomach," which he suggests is related to her "being in terminal shock a short time before she died." The examiner also addressed sourced reports suggesting Anna Nicole Smith had overdosed, stating, "We didn't find any kind of pills in the stomach," adding, "It's a possibility that it might be a natural death." Dr Perper then explained he is intrigued by inflamation in Smith's heart, which is not visible to the naked eye - and plans to investigate further in the coming days and weeks. He said, "I saw something that looked a little bit unusual." The medical examiner also ruled out reports the actress/model was a longtime prescription drug abuser, stating, "There are no findings to indicate continuous drug abuse." Meanwhile, Seminole Police Chief CHARLIE TIGER, who is leading the police investigation into the death of the model, used the press conference to rule out initial foul play. He said, "At this point no evidence has been revealed that a crime occurred. We found no illegal drugs, only prescription medicines (in her hotel room). "We are reviewing surveillance tapes but nothing unusual has been observed." Anna Nicole Smith died on her way to hospital after her private nurse found the model unconscious in her suite at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel + Casino on Thursday afternoon.


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