Los Angeles In the run-up to Michael Jackson’s public memorial, speculation abounded about the whereabouts of the pop star’s body.
First, conventional wisdom held that Jackson would be buried at Neverland Ranch, and speculation swirled that the Santa Barbara County estate would be the site of his memorial service.
Then late Monday, a new slew of reports claimed Jackson had been buried before a private service was held for him on Tuesday at Forest Lawn Memorial Park and Mortuary in the Hollywood Hills. Wednesday, there was speculation he had been cremated.
When that apparently proved false, a new round of claims surfaced that an “empty coffin” had been taken to Staples Center for the public memorial — despite the extraordinary security measures taken to shuttle the coffin from Forest Lawn to downtown Los Angeles.
After Tuesday’s memorial service, one of the most frequently asked questions put to Los Angeles Police Department Chief William J. Bratton was where the body had been taken.
“We have to keep some secrets,” Bratton said.
Sources familiar with the case told the Los Angeles Times the body was in safekeeping after being released to the family following the autopsy last week by the Los Angeles County coroner.
No final decision has been made about a time or place for a burial, and the whereabouts of the body will remain a closely guarded secret.