Death of Anna Nicole's Son Ruled "Suspicious"

AP- Anna Nicole Smith and Daniel Smith years prior to Daniel's Death
AP- Anna Nicole Smith and Daniel Smith years prior to Daniel's Death
NASSAU, Bahamas (AP) - The death of Anna Nicole Smith's 20-year-old son was termed "suspicious" by the coroner's office Wednesday, and a formal inquiry that could lead to criminal charges has been scheduled.

Earlier, Her Majesty's Coroner Linda P. Virgill said at least one other person was in the hospital room when Daniel Wayne Smith died. She refused to elaborate.

Virgill scheduled the inquest for the week of Oct. 23, saying it "is the right course of action." If jurors at the inquest decide a crime took place, the case would be sent to the attorney general's office, authorities said.

"Whenever there is a suspicious death we would have an inquest to determine how the person died," Bradley Neely, chief inspector of the coroner's office, told AP Television News.

Virgill said authorities believe they know what killed Smith, but were awaiting a toxicology report to confirm the findings.

She declined to disclose details but said there was no sign of physical injury to Smith, who died while visiting his mother, a reality TV start and former Playboy playmate, in a hospital three days after she gave birth to a baby girl.

"I can confirm that there was definitely a third person in the room at the time of death and I do know who that person is," Virgill said. "But I am unwilling to reveal that information at this time for various reasons."

Police were reconstructing Smith's steps since his arrival Saturday in the Bahamas, said Reginald Ferguson, the assistant commissioner of the Royal Bahamian Police Force.

Ferguson told the AP that no drug paraphernalia or traces of illegal drugs were found on Daniel Smith, in the hospital room or near the room.

Police believe Smith went directly to Doctors Hospital in Nassau, where his mother was, after flying in to the Bahamas, Ferguson said.

Daniel Smith was the son of Anna Nicole and Bill Smith, who married in 1985 and divorced two years later. The son had small roles in her movies "Skyscraper" and "To the Limit." He also appeared several times on the E! reality series "The Anna Nicole Show."

Anna Nicole Smith married Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II in 1994, when she was 26 and he was 89. He died the following year.

She then feuded with Marshall's son, Pierce Marshall, over her entitlement to the tycoon's estate before he died in June at age 67.

Smith won a $474 million judgment, which was cut to about $89 million, and eventually reduced to zero. In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Smith could continue to pursue her claim in federal courts in California, despite a Texas state court ruling that Marshall's youngest son was the sole heir.