Olivier Douliery/ABACA; Splash News
02/22/2007 at 06:25 PM EST
Florida Circuit Court Judge Larry Seidlin ruled Thursday that Richard Milstein, the court-appointed guardian of Anna Nicole Smith's daughter Dannielynn, will get custody of Smith's remains.
Judge Seidlin also said that he'd like Smith to be buried in the Bahamas next to her son, Daniel Smith, who died last year.
"I want her buried with her son," a tearful Seidlin said when announcing his ruling. "I want her buried with her son in the Bahamas. I want them to be together."
After the hearing ended, Milstein announced that Smith would indeed be buried in the Bahamas.
The judge directed Milstein to consult with Smith's mother, Virgie Arthur, ex-boyfriend Larry Birkhead and her lawyer and companion, Howard K. Stern, on the burial plans for Smith.
When Seidlin announced the ruling both Stern and Arthur broke down in tears.
"The Broward County medical examiner is ordered to release those remains to Milstein in accordance with Milstein's (direction)," Seidlin said. "Milstein is directed to consult with Arthur, Birkhead and Stern with respect to disposition of Anna Nicole Smith's remains." But he noted that Milstein had final discretion over Smith's interment.
All three parties had been fighting to determine where Smith's body should be buried. Stern said he wanted to carry out Smith's wish to be laid to rest next to her son in the Bahamas. Arthur claimed next-of-kin status and wanted the body to be put in a family plot in Texas. Birkhead, who aligned himself with Arthur, testified that Smith wanted to buried in California near Marilyn Monroe. (See CNN.com's video
for more on the Smith hearing.)
After four days of testimony, Seidlin, who had previously said he would announce a ruling on Friday, abruptly concluded testimony on Thursday afternoon. He took a 15-minute recess to review evidence in his chamber before announcing his decision.
Prior to adjourning the court, Seidlin explained, "(I) tried to get a reasonable result. I hope when you hear it you handle it with the respect and dignity that Anna Nicole Smith would want."
Seidlin also encouraged all the participants to resolve the ongoing paternity battle. "Submit to DNA (testing)," he urged. "Enough baloney."