LOS ANGELES (AP) - Michael Jackson's family wants a private
autopsy of the pop icon because of unanswered questions about how
he died and the doctor who was with him, the Rev. Jesse Jackson
"It's abnormal," he told The Associated Press from Chicago a
day after visiting the Jackson family. "We don't know what
happened. Was he injected and with what? All reasonable doubt
should be addressed."
People close to Jackson have said since his death that they were
concerned about the superstar's use of painkillers. Los Angeles
County medical examiners completed an autopsy Friday and said
Jackson had taken prescription medication.
Medical officials also said there was no indication of trauma or
foul play. An official cause of death could take weeks.
The coroner's office released the body to Jackson's family
Friday night. There was no immediate word on whether the second
autopsy was being performed right away. Jesse Jackson described the
family as grief-stricken.
"They're hurt because they lost a son. But the wound is now
being kept open by the mystery and unanswered questions of the
cause of death," he said.
Two days after Jackson died at a Los Angeles hospital, his most
famous sister, Janet, arrived at the mansion Jackson had been
renting. She drove up in a Bentley and left without addressing
Moving vans also showed up at the Jackson home, leaving about an
hour later. There was no indication what they might have taken
There was also no word from the Jackson family on funeral plans.
Many of Jackson's relatives have gathered at the family's Encino
compound, caring there for Jackson's three children.
A person close to the family told The Associated Press they feel
upset and angry about a lack of information about those who were
around the pop superstar in his final days. The person requested
anonymity because of the delicate nature of the situation.
Jackson had been rehearsing for 50 London concerts aimed at
restoring his crown as the King of Pop. He died Thursday at age 50
after what his family said appeared to be cardiac arrest.
A 911 call from Jackson's rented home reported that his personal
doctor was trying to revive him without success. Police have talked
to Dr. Conrad Murray and have said they intend to speak with him
again but have stressed he is not a criminal suspect.
Murray has yet to speak publicly since Jackson's death. Police
towed his car from Jackson's home hours after Jackson died and said
later it could contain medication or other evidence. Coroner's
officials also said Jackson was taking prescription medication but
declined to elaborate.
A lawyer at a Houston firm, William M. Stradley, confirmed
Murray had hired his firm and said one of its partners was meeting
with Los Angeles police on Saturday. Stradley said Murray
accompanied Michael Jackson to the hospital.
"He was there from the beginning and he's been cooperating with
police from the very beginning," Stradley said. "Dr. Murray has
never left L.A. since Mr. Jackson's death, and he remains there."
Murray lives in Las Vegas but apparently left his practice and
moved in with Jackson about two weeks ago. No one answered the door
Saturday at his Las Vegas home, which property records show Murray
bought five years ago for $1.1 million.
The promoter of the series of London concerts that Jackson was
to begin next month has said Jackson personally insisted Murray be
on the payroll.
Also Saturday, spiritual teacher Dr. Deepak Chopra said he had
been concerned since 2005 that Jackson was abusing prescription
painkillers and most recently spoke to the pop star about suspected
drug use six months ago.
Chopra said Jackson, a longtime friend, asked him for
painkillers in 2005 when the singer was staying with him following
his trial on sex abuse allegations. Chopra said he refused. He also
said the nanny of Jackson's children repeatedly contacted him with
concerns about Jackson's drug use over the next four years.
He said she told him a number of doctors would visit Jackson's
homes in Santa Barbara County, Los Angeles, Miami and New York.
Whenever the subject came up, Jackson would avoid his calls, Chopra
Associated Press writers Sophia Tareen in Chicago, Juan A.
Lozano in Houston, and Gillian Flaccus, Brooke Donald, Beth Harris
and Mike Blood and AP Global Media Services Production Manager Nico
Maounis in Los Angeles contributed to this report.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)