Anna Nicole Smith’s Autopsy Began This Morning At 9:20 A.M. Eastern

A day after Anna Nicole Smith’s death, her autopsy will be conducted, as will an emergency hearing to decide whether a court-ordered DNA sample can be taken from her body to help determine the biological father of her daughter, Dannielynn.

The attorney for photographer Larry Birkhead, who claims he is Dannielynn’s father, requested the closed-door hearing, which is expected to start around 9 a.m. before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Robert Schnider, the county’s presiding family court judge.

Birkhead’s attorney, Debra Opri, said her DNA experts insist that, to get a good sample, they have to obtain some of Smiths’s DNA within 48 hours of her death. She emphasized that Birkhead did not ask for the hearing and is devastated, having lost “the love of his life and the mother of his child.”

Birkhead, 34, has long contested the claim that 5-month-old Dannielynn was fathered by Smith’s companion, attorney Howard K. Stern, 38.

It is unclear how a DNA sample would be taken from the infant, who, according to Opri, is currently under the care of the mother of the Bahamas’ Immigration Minister, Shane Gibson.

Meanwhile, Edwina Johnson, chief investigator for the Broward County Medical Examiner’s Office in Florida, where Smith died, said her cause of death was under investigation and an autopsy would be done today.

Smith had been due to arrive Saturday night for a pre-Super Bowl celebrity poker tournament. Instead, she arrived Monday, feeling sick, with a nurse, a bodyguard, Stern and two other unidentified people.

According to a Bitner, Smith was in town to buy a boat.

Bitner said Smith had stayed at Hollywood, Fla., a casino resort at least three previous times: to film a TrimSpa commercial, celebrate a birthday and attend a boxing match with her friend, boxing promoter Don King.