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Smith's death unexplained after autopsy

Story Highlights

• Exam finds no evidence of long-term drug abuse
• Autopsy reveals no drugs in stomach, no injuries
• No crime appears to have been committed, police say
• Judge orders body preserved until February 20 hearing
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HOLLYWOOD, Florida (CNN) -- Anna Nicole Smith does not appear to be a victim of foul play, according to preliminary results of an autopsy performed Friday.

The cause and manner of the television celebrity's death were not determined, however, and the investigation remains open, said Dr. Joshua Perper, chief medical examiner of Broward County, Florida.

"At this time, we do not have the results of the tests that would permit us to make this determination," he said. "Our findings are limited to what we can see with our eyes." (Watch why it could take weeks to find cause of death Video)

Seminole Police Chief Charlie Tiger said prescription drugs were found in Smith's hotel room. However, Perper said no drugs were found in her stomach.

Smith died Thursday after her private nurse found her unresponsive in her room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida.

"There are a number of possibilities," Perper said, including natural causes, a drug reaction or some combination of causes.

Perper said there was no indication of blunt-force trauma, asphyxiation or other physical trauma.

He said Smith had a small bruise on her back, which probably resulted from a fall in the bathtub earlier in the week.

The medical examiner said his office is awaiting results of toxicological and other tests, but there were no drugs in Smith's stomach.

He said if she had taken a large number of pills, some of the medicine would have remained in the stomach.

There also was no evidence of long-term drug abuse, Perper said.

Tiger said no evidence suggests a crime occurred and all witnesses were cooperating with the investigation.

He said police were still analyzing surveillance tapes from the hotel, but so far had seen nothing unusual.

Judge orders body preserved

While the autopsy was taking place, a California judge ruled Smith's body must be preserved until at least February 20, when a hearing will be held to resolve a paternity dispute over the celebrity's 5-month-old daughter. (Full story)

Superior Court Judge Robert Schneider's ruling came as new information surfaced about Smith's last days, during which she fell ill, according to sources.

It could take weeks for tests to determine what killed the 39-year-old reality TV star, Playboy playmate and former Guess jeans model. (Watch Smith's improbable journey through life Video)

"We don't have supermen or superwomen working in our office," Perper said.

He said he still needed to ask "medical questions" of Smith's nurse and bodyguard and the paramedics and hospital personnel who treated her.

Authorities investigating Smith's death retrieved a "large amount" of prescription medicine from her hotel room, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.

The prescription drugs were in the name of Smith's lawyer and boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, and included Valium and antibiotics, a law enforcement source said. Over-the-counter drugs, including cold and flu medicines, also reportedly were found.

Smith checked into the hotel on Monday with Stern.

Smith's attorney, Ron Rale, told reporters his client had been suffering from flu-like symptoms for the last couple of days. (Watch what might have led to Smith's death Video)

In September, Smith gave birth to Dannielynn Hope in the Bahamas. Her 20-year-old son Daniel was found dead in his mother's hospital room three days later.

Stern has claimed to be the father and is listed as the father on Dannielynn's birth certificate. But Larry Birkhead, Smith's former boyfriend, has also claimed paternity and launched a legal fight for DNA testing to be completed.

Also Friday, Zsa Zsa Gabor's husband, Frederic von Anhalt, said that he could be the father of the baby. (Full story)

High fever, bump on head reported

In an interview with The Associated Press, Rale said Smith had been sick for several days with a fever and was still depressed over the September death of her son, Daniel.

Meanwhile, "Entertainment Tonight's" Mark Steines, the last person to interview her, told CNN that Smith had to be placed in an ice bath Tuesday after her fever reached 105 degrees.

Her fever came down, Steines said, but on Wednesday she slipped and fell in the bathtub. When Stern and her nurse went to check on her, "she seemed a little bit out of it" but didn't appear to have suffered any significant injuries, Steines said.

"That led to yesterday," Steines said Friday, "when after taking a nap, I believe, she never came to and never woke up." (Watch how Smith told Steines she was still having nightmares about her son's death Video)

In a statement Thursday, Smith's sister, Donna Hogan, said that the death of Smith's 20-year-old son last year "left her deeply saddened, a sadness she hid from everyone." Dannielynn Hope "is now without a mother," Hogan wrote.

A life of celebrity and tribulations

Smith was known as much for her sometimes-turbulent life off-camera as she was for her show-business endeavors. (Smith rose to fame after dropping out of school)

The former topless dancer first appeared in Playboy in 1992, was named Playmate of the Year in 1993 and appeared in Guess jeans ads and in movies.

In 2002, Smith launched a popular reality television program on the E! Entertainment network.

In 1994 she married 89-year-old Texas oil magnate Howard Marshall II. He died the next year, and until her death Smith was involved in a legal battle over the inheritance that included a 2006 U.S. Supreme Court ruling. (Watch tributes to the former Playmate Video)

Earlier this week, Smith was included in a class-action lawsuit against TrimSpa, a company for which she was a spokeswoman in commercials and ads touting her weight loss. (Full storyexternal link)

CNN's KJ Matthews contributed to this report.

Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

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