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Published: Friday, 10/12/2007

Investigators serve search warrants in Anna Nicole Smith's death

ASSOCIATED PRESS

LOS ANGELES - Authorities investigating the death of Anna Nicole Smith raided six locations Friday, including the offices and residences of two doctors, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County district attorney's office said.

County prosecutors were aware of the raids in the Los Angeles area but were not involved in the operation, said spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons. She did not comment further; Attorney General Jerry Brown was expected to make an announcement on the case later Friday.

Smith, a former Playboy Playmate, died of an accidental drug overdose in February at a Florida hotel. She was 39.

Ellyn Garafalo, a lawyer for Dr. Sandeep Kapoor, who prescribed methadone to Smith shortly before she died, confirmed the doctor's home and offices were among those raided but declined to comment further.

Several people close to the model have fallen under suspicion since her death, including her psychiatrist Dr. Khristine Eroshevich.

The Medical Board of California said in April it was investigating Eroshevich, who, according to documents, authorized all 11 prescription medications found in Smith's hotel room the day she died. Eroshevich had traveled with Smith to Florida.

Agents from the California Department of Justice answered the door at Eroshevich's offices Friday morning, but declined to say why they were there.

They said the doctor was not in and provided a phone number for the department's office of public information, which had no immediate comment.

A call to Eroshevich's attorney, Gary Lincenberg, was not immediately returned.

More than 600 pills, including 450 muscle relaxants, were missing from prescriptions that were no more than five weeks old, according to the documents obtained by The Associated Press through a public records request.

California's medical board also opened an inquiry to determine if there was any misconduct by Kapoor, who reportedly prescribed methadone to Smith.

Methadone is a popular narcotic painkiller that is used as part of drug addiction detoxification and maintenance programs. Methadone overdoses can cause shallow breathing and dangerous changes in heartbeat.

A lawyer for Howard K. Stern, Smith's attorney and companion, has said she took the sleeping aid to cope with grief over the death of her son Daniel, 20, in the Bahamas. Smith gave birth to daughter Dannielynn in September 2006, a few days before the death of her son.

Stern initially claimed to be Dannielynn's father, but Smith's ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead eventually showed he was the father and is now raising the child.

The baby could inherit millions from the estate of Smith's late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II. A judge has appointed Birkhead guardian of the estate.

Read more in later editions of The Blade and toledoblade.com



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