Sunday, 28 June 2009

Jackson family wants second autopsy: Coroner

Michael Jackson's family said it would seek to carry out a second autopsy on the late star, Los Angeles County coroner's investigators said on Saturday. ( Watch )

Coroner's investigator Brian Elias said Jackson's family had told his office on Friday they wanted a second autopsy carried out. According to celebrity news website, the new autopsy was already underway at an undisclosed location in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles coroner's officials had said on Friday after an initial autopsy that Jackson's cause of death would not be finalized until the results of toxicology tests were known in several weeks time. Preliminary findings said there was no evidence of foul play or external physical injury to Jackson, officials said.

Reverend Jesse Jackson speaks with Joe Jackson, father of the late pop star Michael Jackson outside Joe Jackson's family home in Los Angeles, California.

The Los Angeles Coroner's office had said a preliminary autopsy on Jackson was inconclusive and a final cause of death would not be known until exhaustive toxicology tests are completed in "six to eight weeks."

Jackson's body was released to his family under cover of darkness late on Friday, and was being kept at an undisclosed location, officials said.

Veteran US politician and activist Reverend Jesse Jackson -- who is not related to the family -- told ABC television's Good Morning America that he had spent Friday counseling the family at their estate.

And he revealed that family members were angry and frustrated by unanswered questions surrounding Jackson's death, and were focusing their attention on the role of the singer's doctor, identified as Conrad Murray.

Murray is reported to have injected Jackson with the powerful painkiller Demerol shortly before his death.

Los Angeles police said on Friday they intended to interview Murray for a second time after initially speaking to him on Thursday. However Jesse Jackson said the family had a flurry of questions of their own.

"When did the doctor come? What did he do? Did they inject him, if so with what," Jackson said, claiming that Murray had gone missing in the hours immediately following the singer's death.

"His absence raises questions of substance that will not go away until they are answered," Jackson said.

"They (the family) are suspicious of this doctor and they have real reason to be because any other doctor would say 'Here's what happened in the last hour of his life and I was there. I gave him some medicine.'

"He owes it to the family and to the public to say 'These were the last hours of Michael's life and here's what happened.' That's a reasonable expectation."

Asked if the family would seek their own autopsy, Jesse Jackson replied: "I'm sure they ought to, they probably will."

Los Angeles coroners have said Friday's preliminary investigation showed no evidence of "external trauma or foul play" on Jackson's body.

However friends and associates of Jackson took to the airwaves to voice anger over the role of advisers and physicians that surrounded the star.

New age guru and Jackson confidante Deepak Chopra -- a qualified cardiologist -- told CNN bluntly: "I think drugs killed him."

Meanwhile removal vans could be seen entering the driveway of the mansion in Los Angeles where Jackson collapsed, CNN reported Saturday.

The aftermath of Jackson's death has witnessed a worldwide outpouring of tributes and vigils, with stars, world leaders and devotees of the pop icon offering praise to the man who sold more than 750 million records.

Movie icon Elizabeth Taylor said Friday she was "heartbroken" over her close friend's death.

"My heart... my mind... are broken," Taylor said in a statement. "I loved Michael with all my soul and I can't imagine life without him... I still can't believe it. I don't want to believe it. It can't be so."

Fans staged gatherings across the globe, including 10,000 Danish fans who crammed into a square in Copenhagen for a three-hour tribute concert.

Revelers at Britain's Glastonbury music festival sported T-shirts with slogans like "Michael Jackson RIP" and "I was at Glasto when Jacko died", while graffiti paying tribute to "The King of Pop" adorned tents.

On the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, fans queued again on Saturday in sunshine for the right to file past Jackson's star.

In New York large crowds formed outside the legendary Apollo Theater in Harlem, where Jackson launched his career in 1969.

Jackson's death has sent fans scrambling to stock up on his music, and British chart officials said a compilation album was likely to go to the top of the charts on Sunday.

"We always find where a great icon dies that there's a massive uplift in their music sales as fans want to connect and express their grief through the records," said Gennaro Castaldo of retailer HMV.

While Jackson ruled the charts and dazzled audiences with dance moves like the "moonwalk" in the 1980s, his once-stellar career was overshadowed by his startling physical transformation and multiple allegations of child abuse.

He lived as a virtual recluse following his 2005 acquittal on charges of child molestation and plotting to kidnap his young accuser.

Source: TOI