AFTER a second secret autopsy was conducted on MINDY MCCREADY, sources now suspect drugs drove the troubled country singer to suicide! PLUS! The battle for her kids!

An ENQUIRER investigation has discovered that McCready’s body went on a bizarre odyssey from the autopsy slab to an Arkansas funeral home and back to the coroner’s lab before being shipped to her native Florida.

“RIGHT AFTER THE CORONER re­leased Mindy’s body to a funeral home in Arkansas, they suddenly demanded that it be sent back to the coroner’s office for ‘additional tests,’” a source close to the McCready family told The ENQUIRER.

“No one is talking about what these tests involved, but it was a very unusual request. Even family members said they were puzzled, or at least pre­tended to be puzzled, by the request. It delayed sending Mindy’s body to a funeral home in Lehigh Acres, Fla., as arranged by the family.”

McCready – singer of the 1996 hit “Guys Do it All the Time” – shot herself to death on the front porch of her home in Heber Springs, Ark., on Feb. 17.

Her boyfriend, music producer David Wilson, was found dead of a gunshot wound on Jan. 13 on the same porch.

His death sent McCready, who had a long history of drug and alcohol abuse, into a downward spiral. On Feb. 6, she was ordered into a mental health substance abuse program after ad­mitting in a court hearing that she’d “indulged in too much alcohol” while trying to cope with Wilson’s death.

SHE was expected to be held for 21 days while experts monitored her mental health and substance abuse is­sues. But that didn’t happen, and now a world-renowned forensic criminolo­gist believes the second secret autopsy may indicate drugs were involved in the 37-year-old singer’s death.

“Mindy McCready’s body was most likely called back for additional toxicol­ogy testing,” Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, professor and chairman of the Sci­ence Department at the John Jay College of Criminal Jus­tice in New York, told The ENQUIRER.

“While her cause of death is obvious, it’s well known that certain anti-depressants may cause or increase suicidal tenden­cies. We don’t know what medication she may have been prescribed while under involuntary commitment or an outpatient treat­ment program.

“Her family could be planning to sue a pharmaceutical company, a doctor who prescribed medication for her or the institution where she was commit­ted and later released.”

McCready’s sons – Zander, 6, and 11-month-old Zayne – were in foster care when she died, and in a heart­breaking twist, a caseworker from the Arkansas Department of Human Services was the one who told Zander about her death.

“But he doesn’t seem to understand,” the youngster’s father, Mindy’s former boyfriend Billy McKnight, told The ENQUIRER. “Zander was all alone in foster care and is going to have trust is­sues over this. He’s going to think it’s his fault that his mother died.”

Still, both of the kids’ fate was unde­cided and there could be a battle over whether they go back to the family or stay in foster care. McKnight said he hopes to get custody of his son and have Zayne, whose father was Wilson, raised by McCready’s mother and stepfather.

“I just want Zander home to start his healing,” McKnight added. “He’s been through so much.”