There's now one less mystery surrounding the sudden death of Anna Nicole Smith's son—the where and when of his burial.
Nearly six weeks after the 20-year-old died while visiting his mother and newborn sister in a Nassau hospital room, Daniel Smith was buried Thursday in the Bahamas. A family statement announced Daniel was interred at 3:27 p.m. in a private ceremony at an undisclosed location in Nassau.
"Anna Nicole Smith laid her son to rest today. It was the most difficult day of her entire life," Howard K. Stern, the model's lawyer turned paramour, said.
Stern also gave the eulogy at the service.
“Daniel is Anna's rock, and that became even more profound at today’s emotional service. Howard, Anna and [daughter] Dannielynn Hope need to cherish, love and be strong. May the blessings of peace, hope, life and, above all, love, be theirs,” added Alex Goen, CEO of TrimSpa.
While Smith's camp declined to go into detail, a spokeswoman for the local Lakeview Memorial Gardens & Mausoleums confirmed to the Associated Press that the funeral had taken place at the cemetery.
Deborah Cartwright told the wire service that a gold-colored hearse brought Daniel's body to the grounds, on which a large green tent had been erected for the private service. She said that he was interred in a mahogany casket.
To ensure the affair was kept as private as possible, six police officers stood guard at the cemetery's main entrance, with plainclothes officers stationed outside the tent. Invited guests of the service were the only people allowed on the grounds for the duration of the funeral.
Earlier in the week, Entertainment Tonight reported that roughly 25 mourners were expected and that Daniel would likely be buried wearing a trucker cap, T-shirt and blue jeans, his preferred wardrobe.
ET also claimed that the mourning mother would be wearing a black dress and veil to the service, created specially for the occasion by designer Pol' Atteu, the clothier responsible for Smith's last-minute matrimonial garb for her commitment ceremony to Stern last month.
The not quite wedding ceremony, held on Sept. 28, was a source of contention between Smith and Michael Scott, the attorney who was representing her during her sojourn in the Bahamas. Scott abruptly quit as the actress' counsel last week, saying he disagreed with Smith and Stern's behavior in the wake of Daniel's death.
Scott told reporters that among his biggest beefs was that Smith and Stern organized and carried out a commitment ceremony prior to burying her son, who died Sept. 10.
Smith had initially intended to bury Daniel in California, contacting a funeral home there in the days after the young man's demise. But she reconsidered as the probe into his death languished. Meanwhile, her ex-husband and Daniel's father, Billy Smith, held an Oct. 7 memorial service for Daniel in their Texas hometown of Mexia.
While the burial grants some closure over Daniel's death, the tragic incident is sadly far from over. Authorities have yet to declare an official cause of his death, though a private pathologist hired by Anna Nicole announced last month that Daniel died of an accidental combination of methadone and the antidepressants Lexapro and Zoloft.
The Royal Bahamas Police Force is currently wrapping up its own investigation into the death and is expected to turn over its findings to the attorney general this week. The attorney general will then decide whether an inquest, or any additional court action, should be taken.
In the meantime, Anna Nicole Smith is facing a legal challenge over the paternity of her newborn daughter, Dannielynn Hope. Stern has insisted he's the father of the girl, who was born Sept. 7, and is listed on the birth certificate as such. But paparazzo Larry Birkhead disputes that and has filed a lawsuit in California seeking a DNA test.
Debra Opri, the attorney representing Birkhead, says she's traveling to the Bahamas and is scheduled to depose both her and Stern next Monday.