Jackson’s doctor unavailable as family seeks answers

Saturday, June 27, 2009

LOS ANGELES - Moving vans arrived Saturday at the rented mansion where Michael Jackson died two days earlier, as questions continued to swirl about the cause of his death, his final days and the future of his children and sizeable estate.

The arrival of the huge trucks may have provided a potent symbol of closure around the death of the world-famous pop icon. But there remain far more questions than answers.

According to civil-rights activist Jesse Jackson, a friend of the family, Michael Jackson’s family remained unable Saturday to contact his private doctor to learn about the singer’s final hours, after the pop star’s death Thursday.

Jesse Jackson told broadcaster CNN Saturday that relatives are growing increasingly upset because they remain unable to contact Conrad Robert Murray, Jackson’s private doctor.

The cardiologist has not been accessible since leaving Jackson’s home after the singer’s death. Murray regularly accompanied Jackson and tried to resuscitate Jackson after the singer collapsed Thursday in his Los Angeles home.

An autopsy has shown no foul play suspected in Jackson’s death, and police say Murray is not a suspect. It is unclear if he has been questioned. Murray’s car was taken as evidence after Jackson’s death.

Jackson, 50, died of cardiac arrest.

Citing the Los Angeles coroner’s office, CNN reported Saturday that Jackson’s remains had been moved to an undisclosed location that will remain secret at the request of the singer’s family.

“We ask that you respect the family wishes,” deputy coroner Ed Winter told reporters. “They are all grieving in their different ways.”

Murray was reportedly employed by the concert firm organising Jackson’s massive comeback tour, which has said that Jackson had recently undergone thorough medical tests and was in good health.

The focus on Jackson’s doctor and the medications that the pop idol was taking was sharpened by reports that just the night before his death, Michael had been energetic, focused and in high spirits.

Jackson was working at one of the last rehearsals in Los Angeles before his planned departure for London. MSNBC reported that pop stars led by Madonna had been contacted about performing a massive tribute concert to the late star.

“There were a couple of times when Michael stood at my side and we looked at the stage together and were just beaming with gladness that we had arrived at this place,” the show’s director, Kenny Ortega, told the Los Angeles Times Saturday.

“And he was happy. We all felt that and shared that. We were four or five days from finishing in Los Angeles and heading to London and feeling in really good shape. He was dancing, training, working every day. He was enthusiastically involved in every creative aspect of this production.”

A reduced stream of fans, meanwhile, flocked past Jackson’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, even as sales of his records and CD’s dominated online and high-street music stores.

“I am just here to pay my respects,” said Fisseah, from Los Angeles. “I am very sad and have no other words.”

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