FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – As appeals continued in the dispute over the body of Anna Nicole Smith, Broward County Coroner Joshua Perper interrupted a courtroom proceeding with a report that the former Playboy model’s body continues to deteriorate.

“One of her arms fell off today,” Dr. Perper told a packed courtroom over a speaker phone. “We were moving the gurney because it was blocking the coffee maker and there was this slight bump and her right arm fell off onto the floor. We put it back under the sheets and she should still be suitable for a viewing, but I would recommend you reach a conclusion as quickly as possible and that we rule out a sleeveless dress for the funeral.”

Attorneys for Howard K. Stern, Miss Smith’s longtime companion, and her estranged mother, Virgie Arthur, immediately filed for separate custody of the arm in the event their client loses the appeal over the body. Stern says Miss Smith had asked to be buried in the Bahamas, next to her son, Daniel. Arthur says her daughter should be buried in Texas, next to her arm.