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Police seek new evidence in Anna Nicole Smith case

Story Highlights

• Police seeking new evidence in Anna Nicole Smith case
• They say they may need court order to get it
• Medical examiner is waiting for more evidence
From Susan Candiotti and Rich Phillips
CNN
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FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida (CNN) -- Police investigating the death of Anna Nicole Smith said Friday they are seeking additional information in the case and may need a court order to obtain it.

"There is some information they don't have and would like to get, but it might need a court order," Gary Bitner, a spokesman for the Seminole Tribe and its police department, told CNN.

Broward County Medical Examiner Joshua Perper, whose ruling on the cause of Smith's death is pending, said Thursday a new piece of evidence that "might change some of my conclusions" needs to be obtained and evaluated. Perper said he is waiting a week or two to release his findings, until the evidence is available.

Smith, 39, was pronounced dead February 8 after being found unconscious in her hotel room at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino near Hollywood, Florida.

Bitner would not elaborate on the possible new evidence or on what information police are attempting to obtain.

Among the evidence Perper wants to evaluate is Smith's computer, according to Ron Ishoy, spokesman for the Broward County attorney.

CNN has previously reported that Smith's computer, hard drives, diary and other personal items were turned over to Seminole police last month. After her death, the items had been taken by Ford Shelly, the son of the owner of the Nassau home Smith was staying in.

Shelly, who lives in South Carolina, turned over the items to the Horry County, South Carolina, sheriff's office. Broward County prosecutors contacted Horry County and facilitated the transfer of the items to the Seminole police investigating Smith's death.

Two weeks ago, during a probate hearing, Shelly testified that Smith had asked him to take possession of the items if anything ever happened to her.

Bitner said every bit of evidence the police have obtained has been shared with Perper's office, but would not say precisely what that evidence was.

Ishoy said the county attorney's office has not yet been asked to obtain a court order for any new evidence.

Multiple investigators have said that foul play is not suspected in Smith's death, and continue to maintain that.

"Calling this a homicide investigation would be wrong," Ishoy said. "We don't have a criminal investigation. My sense is he (Perper) knows what she died from and he wants to know the nature (of her death)."

Perper previously has said the only person who refused to speak to him regarding his investigation was Dr. Sandeep Kapoor of Studio City, California. Kapoor treated Smith during her pregnancy with her now-6-month-old daughter Dannielynn, prescribing methadone for her.

"Dr. Kapoor has been appropriately cautious about protecting the confidentiality of Anna Nicole Smith's medical treatment," Ellyn Garofalo, Kapoor's attorney, said in a written statement Friday. "It's apparent that such caution is justified when the Broward County medical examiner makes public statements about a supposedly confidential investigation.

"The medical examiner's job is to determine the cause of Ms. Smith's death," Garofalo said. "Dr. Kapoor has no information that will help with that determination. Dr. Kapoor's treatment of Ms. Smith was at all times medically sound, and he will continue to cooperate with any formal requests from authorities."

Although Kapoor has defended his treatment of Smith, the Medical Board of California said Friday it is investigating the physician in regard to Smith's case. Spokeswoman Debbie Nelson would not release any additional details. The board's Web site on Friday listed Kapoor's license as renewed and current.

CNN's Karan Olson contributed to this report.

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