Over two months after his shocking death, Michael Jackson's body is finally set to be laid to rest on his birthday. His father Joe Jackson said the singer's coffin would be buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Los Angeles on August 29 - what would have been his 51st birthday.
The 80-year-old, who had a difficult relationship with his most famous son, said the burial would take place at 10am next Saturday, according to the New York Daily News. Joe claimed the plans had only been made in the last few days, although the family is yet to go public with them.
Jackson died of a cardiac arrest on June 25, although the LAPD are currently investigation the situation leading up to his death. Following Jackson's memorial concert at the LA Staples Center on July 7, the singer's remains have been moved around several times. He was originally in Motown Records founder Berry Gordy, but was then moved to a secret location amid fears fan would try to get to it.
It is currently being held in a freezer locker at the Freedom Mausoleum in Glendale, California.
According to reports in the U.S., Jackson’s mother, Katherine, ordered the move without even telling the rest of the family after being warned her son’s temporary resting place in a crypt belonging to Motown founder Berry Gordy had become a security risk. Jackson’s sister LaToya and oldest brother, Jackie, were supposed to have overseen a private burial on the Gordy plot at the Forest Lawn Cemetery in Hollywood Hills more than a week ago, but the family matriarch called it off at the last minute.
When the family ordered a third autopsy last week, Mrs Jackson used it as an excuse to keep her son above ground, even though she was told the body wasn’t required for further tests and the coroner had returned his missing brain.
‘She just can’t bear to let Michael go. This way Katherine feels like she can still talk to him and keep him close. The thought of burying him still fills her with dread,’ said a family friend.
When asked how his wife was doing, Joe told the Daily News she had taken it particulary hard and frequently burst into tears.
But while dealing with her grief, Katherine has been keeping herself busy caring for her three grandchildren, left behind by Jackson.
Katherine was awarded custody of Prince, Paris and Blanket last week; with the two eldest children's biological mother Debbie Rowe receiving visitation rights.