A Florida appeals court on Wednesday rejects Virgie Arthur's request to get custody of her daughter's body

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated February 28, 2007 05:30 PM

A Florida appeals court on Wednesday cleared the way for Anna Nicole Smith to be buried in the Bahamas, CNN reports.

The ruling rejects an appeal filed by Smith’s estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, who had hoped to bury her daughter in her native Texas. Arthur wanted to overturn the ruling last week by Judge Larry Seidlin that grants custody of Smith’s body to Richard Milstein, a court-appointed attorney representing Smith’s 5-month-old daughter, Dannielynn.

Milstein has said that he intends to bury Smith in the Bahamas alongside her 20-year-old son, Daniel, according to CNN.

Smith, 39, died Feb. 8 and her body, which has been kept in a Florida morgue, has been rapidly decomposing, according to the Broward County chief medical examiner.

In other court activity on Wednesday, a Florida judge rejected a bid by Larry Birkhead, who claims he is the child’s father, to have a court in that state decide a paternity fight over Dannielynn, Reuters reports. Smith’s longtime companion, Howard K. Stern, is listed as the baby’s father on her birth certificate, and Broward County Judge Lawrence Korda tossed the case back to California, where Birkhead first filed a paternity action.