NASSAU, Bahamas – Anna Nicole Smith's daughter is in the custody of a high-ranking Bahamian official, authorities told FOX News Saturday, while the paternity of young Dannielynn remains a mystery.
Police told FOX News that Shane Gibson, Bahamian immigration minister, was caring for 5-month-old Dannielynn Hope Marshall Stern, whose mother died mysteriously several days earlier at a Florida hotel.
Gibson's mother was permitted into Smith's waterfront mansion late Friday to remove some of Smith's personal effects including clothes and jewelry. A pickup took a crib and infant's seat from the mansion earlier Friday to Gibson's house in the middle-class Marathon area.
Later, a baby could be heard crying inside the house. Gibson did not return calls seeking comment Saturday.
The house is also the focus of a custody debate. An ex-boyfriend of Smith's, G. Ben Thompson, claimed ownership of the residence before the reality TV star and former Playmate died.
Howard K. Stern, Anna Nicole Smith's partner and current legal guardian of Dannielynn, was back in the Bahamas, along with his mother and sister, Saturday. Stern is just one of three men claiming to be the father of Dannielynn.
An autopsy Friday did not reveal the cause of death and officials said it could take several weeks for toxicology reports to indicate how Smith died. She was found passed out in a hotel room of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Thursday afternoon and pronounced dead at a local hospital later that day.
Experts say the decision of who receives custody could determine the child's inheritance. Smith was in a long legal battle over the fortune of her late husband, Texas oil tycoon J. Howard Marshall II.
Smith's mother arrived Friday in Nassau, where the late star's son died last year under mysterious circumstances, to check on the welfare of her granddaughter, a police official has said.
Reginald Ferguson, assistant commissioner for the Royal Bahamas Police Force, said Smith's mother Vergie Arthur believes her granddaughter is in Nassau. Ferguson said Arthur was traveling in a limousine with a pack of international camera crews.
Arthur, who is reportedly staying in a resort hotel in Nassau's famed Cable Beach, could not be contacted for comment Saturday. She told ABC's "Good Morning America" that she believes her daughter died from a drug overdose.
A birth certificate for Dannielynn lists Stern as the girl's father, but her paternity has been challenged by two other men.
A former boyfriend, Larry Birkhead, has filed suit claiming he is the father. On Friday, Prince Frederick von Anhalt, the husband of actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, announced that he had a decade-long affair with Smith and may be her infant daughter's father.
Smith gave birth to Dannielynn on Sept. 7. Three days later, her 20-year-old son, Daniel Smith, died while visiting her in the hospital. A medical examiner hired by the family concluded Daniel Smith died from an accidental, lethal combination of methadone and antidepressants, but results of an official autopsy have not been released.
The Bahamian chief magistrate said Friday it is important to go on with plans to hold a jury inquest next month into the death of Daniel Smith.
The attorney for a U.S. developer who claims ownership of the waterfront mansion where Anna Nicole Smith lived in the Bahamas has retaken control of the residence, he said Saturday.
Godfrey Pinder, attorney for G. Ben Thompson, a former boyfriend of Smith's who was embroiled in an ownership dispute with the late 39-year-old reality TV star, said that Smith's death at a Florida hotel meant her claims to the mansion were no longer legitimate.
"We changed the locks and have put a chain on the gate," Pinder told The Associated Press in a brief phone interview. "We have physical control of the house."
The former Playboy playmate's ownership of the mansion, which her lawyer said she bought in July for $900,000, was the basis of Smith's claim to residency in the Bahamas. In her lawsuit, Smith asked the court to recognize her purchase and reject a claim by Thompson, a South Carolina developer.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.