LATEST: Anna Nicole Smith's estranged mother VIRGIE ARTHUR fears for her granddaughter's life while she is in the custody of Smith's companion and lawyer HOWARD K STERN.
Arthur is fighting with Stern for custody of the former Playboy Playmate's remains in a Florida courtroom. She also hopes Smith's baby daughter DANNIELYNN is soon relinquished from his care because she blames him for both her daughter and grandson DANIEL's recent deaths.
An emotional Arthur said on the witness stand yesterday (21FEB07), "I knew she (Anna Nicole) would be next. My grandson did not overdose.
"Howard was there when he died, and Howard was there when my daughter died. And he has my granddaughter now and it is not even his child. I'm afraid for her life as well. Please help us."
Arthur, Stern and LARRY BIRKHEAD, who claims he is the father of Smith's baby daughter, took a brief break from the court proceedings to get a private viewing of Smith's rapidly decomposing remains in a Florida morgue.
According to US entertainment show EXTRA, a local funeral parlour was brought in to dress the room and body of Smith before she was seen.
She was wearing a dress inside the coffin and had her makeup done, which is the first time the medical examiner's office has ever allowed such a procedure.
Florida Circuit Judge LARRY SEIDLIN insists he will decide by Friday (23FEB07) whether to release the remains to Stern, who wants Smith to be buried next to her son in the Bahamas, or to Arthur, who wants her buried in her native Texas.
Smith died on 8 February (07) in a Florida hotel at the age of 39.