updated 02/22/2007 AT 9:00 AM ET
•originally published 02/23/2007 AT 9:40 AM ET
Shortly after Anna Nicole Smith’s son Daniel died while visiting his mother in a Bahamas hospital, Howard K. Stern appeared to have “flushed [a couple] of prescription drugs down the toilet” in the house he shared with Smith, according to a witness interviewed by Bahamian police.
The revelation is one of many contained in a police report obtained by PEOPLE.
In a formal inquest scheduled for March 26, Bahamian officials will attempt to decide whether anyone intentionally or accidentally contributed to the sudden death of Daniel, 20, last September.
Among the disclosures recorded in the police report:
Ford Shelley, whose father-in-law Ben Thompson, a South Carolina developer who had a brief relationship with Smith and who claims to own the Bahamian house where Smith resided with Stern, told police that Stern found drugs in Daniel’s possessions.
The day Daniel died, Shelley told police, Stern returned to the house and checked Daniel’s clothing. Shelley said two white tablets fell out of Daniel’s jeans pocket and that Stern then “went immediately to the bathroom” and “seconds after, I heard the toilet flush.” Stern, he says, told him “that he had taken care of a problem.”
The report also recounts Shelley saying that he saw Stern remove a brown pouch from under the mattress in the master bedroom, after which Stern explained, “He had to keep the pouch out of Anna’s reach.” According to Shelley, Stern added, “Methadone is also kept in the fridge in Anna’s room.”
Shelley also talked about how Stern told him about assisting Anna with her drugs.
“He informed me that he would administer medication to Anna but would not allow her to medicate herself, in fear that she would overdose,” Shelley stated. “All of the medications are prescribed under fictitious names, so as to deceive the pharmacist as to who is the real recipient.”
(Ron Rale, one of Smith’s attorneys and a former law partner of Stern’s, says all of Shelley’s assertions are false. “We deny everything,” says Rale. “It’s ridiculous.”)
Jack Harding, a private investigator based in California, told police that last year Daniel expressed to him “his concern about the kind of persons his mother was associating with.” Daniel also said “he did not like the idea that she was moving to the Bahamans” and that he “felt that her associates were taking advantage of her.” NEXT PAGE
She also said, “As far as I am aware I don’t know that Daniel was using drugs of any kind, than the one prescribed by Dr. (Sandeep) Kapoor.” After Daniel had stayed out all night, Smith put him out of the house. He went to live with family friend Ray Martino. (A representative of Dr. Kapoor says that the doctor never prescribed medications to Daniel.)
Daniel landed in the hospital twice – shortly before Smith moved to the Bahamas and on the same day she arrived, according to the report. Martino told police he “noticed that Daniel was losing weight,” and when Daniel complained of stomach cramps and back pains in July Martino took him to the hospital. Later in the month, on July 18, Daniel complained of the same symptoms and Martino rushed him to the hospital, where he spent three days. At some point, Martino found in Daniel’s school bag a bottle of the antidepressant Zoloft, which had been prescribed to one of Smith’s former employees.
On the morning Daniel died, a nurse found two white tablets in a bed that Stern had slept in. Stern, in his statement to police, maintains Daniel slept there, too, but the nurses only recall seeing Stern in the bed.
The drugs found in the bed were the muscle relaxant Carisoprodol and Methadone, according to the report. (PEOPLE has previously learned Smith had a prescription for Carisoprodol.)
Photographs of Daniel’s body reveal abrasions under his right arm. There were also “abrasions to the left pelvis and hip areas,” as well as the “right pelvis and hip areas.” A doctor questioned about the abrasions told police said he didn’t “know how they got there, and it was nothing done while trying to resuscitate Daniel.”