Fla. Court Upholds Smith Burial Ruling
Wednesday, February 28, 2007; 5:24 PM
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- A Florida appeals court Wednesday upheld a judge's ruling that allowed Anna Nicole Smith to be buried in the Bahamas, agreeing evidence supports that's what the former Playboy Playmate wanted.
The starlet's estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, challenged last week's ruling by Judge Larry Seidlin, who gave control of the body to an advocate for Smith's 5-month-old daughter. Arthur wanted to bury the starlet in her native Texas.
But Smith's boyfriend, Howard K. Stern, had argued that she had wanted to be buried in the Bahamas next to her 20-year-old son, who died last year of apparent drug-related causes. The 4th District Court of Appeal agreed.
The trial court concluded that Smith's "last ascertainable wish" was to be buried alongside her son, the appellate judges said in their ruling. "This finding is not essentially disputed."
It was not immediately clear when Smith's body would be transported, but attorney Richard Milstein, the baby's advocate, has said a funeral in the Bahamas could be held as early as Thursday.
Smith's body has been stored at a medical examiner's office since shortly after she died Feb. 8 at 39. A cause of death has not been released.