• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Jackson family: We want 2nd autopsy

June 27, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
A day after receiving the body of Michael Jackson, his family is calling for an independent autopsy to determine the cause of his death.The Rev. Jesse Jackson spoke for the family and said too many questions remain surrounding Jackson's death including whether or not the singer was being over medicated.

"Was he given a shot? If so was it Demerol and what was the power of it," said the Reverend. "It raised questions that deserve answers and we want those answers because we're hurt. We don't want our pain intensified by a lack of information."

An exclusive ABC News report from The Blotter says Michael Jackson was "heavily addicted" to the powerful pain killer Oxycontin and received "daily doses" of it and Demerol. Jackson may have been administered the prescription pain-killer Demerol prior to collapsing.

Dr. Conrad Murray is said to have been Jackson's personal doctor and was with him when he died. The doctor reportedly performed CPR until paramedics arrived. An ambulance crew worked on Jackson at his home for 42 minutes before rushing him to UCLA Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Dr. Murray, a cardiologist licensed to practice medicine in Texas, has hired a Houston-based law firm as he deals with police. Attorneys said Murray is cooperating with police and is not a suspect.

"We've been assured 100 percent that Doctor Murray is in no way, shape or form a suspect in the death of Mr. Jackson, but he is a witness that police believe can provide valuable information into the cause of Mr. Jackson's death," said Matt Alford, an attorney for Murray.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office performed an autopsy on the singer's body on Friday but deferred a finding on the cause of death pending further tests that could take more than a month. Coroner's officials said they released Michael Jackson's body to his family late Friday night. Jesse Jackson did not say if an independent autopsy had been arranged.

Janet Jackson arrived at her brother's rented Holmby Hills estate Saturday, where moving vans arrived earlier in the day.

Janet Jackson, wearing dark glasses, drove up in a Bentley and went directly to the estate. Earlier in the morning, eight movers had taken dollies and packing equipment through the gates. It wasn't immediately known what was being taken out.

Most of Michael Jackson's family members had gathered in their Encino compound, where they are contemplated funeral arrangements and caring for his three children.

The family released a statement through People Magazine:

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated to a point, where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.

"We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you - who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever.

"In addition, Joseph Jackson wishes to personally convey: 'My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson."'

An L.A. Coroner's official says they have not determined the cause of Michael Jackson's death. They say they require further toxicology tests and tissue studies. Officials expect the process to take as long as 4 to 6 weeks to complete. The L.A. Coroner's office says there was no evidence of trauma to the body or evidence of foul play.

Meanwhile, police confirmed on Friday that a car towed away from Michael Jackson's mansion belongs to Doctor Murray.

Jackson was unconscious when he was taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Doctors tried to resuscitate him for over an hour at the hospital, but he could not be revived. Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m.

Jackson's health had come into question in recent days as he was scheduled to perform 50 concerts in London. He was seen rehearsing for those concerts on Wednesday night.

"I can only tell you that I am heartbroken, that I am stunned and saddened. We will never again see the likes of Michael Jackson grace us again," said Brian Oxman, former Jackson family attorney.

Michael Jackson was perhaps the most exciting performer of his generation. At the height of his fame, he was a towering figure in entertainment.

As a young boy, he entertained TV audiences with his brothers as part of the Jackson 5. When he left the group, he embarked on what would become one of the greatest solo careers in music history.

He had four No. 1 singles with his album "Off the Wall," and then came "Thriller."

In 1982, "Thriller" became the best-selling album of all time. It was No. 1 on the charts for 37 weeks, selling 50 million copies worldwide and producing seven hit singles.

The "moonwalk," the glove and that voice, Jackson hit big again in 1987 with the release of his album "Bad."

But at his lowest point, his career was marred by lurid allegations and financial troubles. Jackson reportedly died with about $400 million of debt.

His legal troubles began in 1993 when he was accused of molesting a little boy.

"Don't treat me like a criminal, because I am innocent," Jackson said December 1993.

Jackson was able to settle the case before it went to trial, and in 2005, he was cleared of another molestation charge.

Jackson's personal life also became tabloid headlines. He had a failed marriage to Lisa Marie Presley, and then another one to Debbie Rowe, the mother of two of his three children. He altered his appearance over time, dangled one of his children off a hotel balcony and lost Neverland Ranch over money problems.

Jackson's life was cut short just as he was about to attempt one of the greatest comebacks of all time.

Emotional Jackson fans consoled each other at the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Friday. For most, Jackson's death was a complete shock.

"I just can't believe it," said fan Suzette Jones.

"I grew up with Michael Jackson from the '70s, so it's not like I just came on this thing. All my life, I've known Michael Jackson," Jones said as she sobbed.

Press from around the world descended on Jackson's star, and at one point, the memorial was overrun by crews and their equipment.

Fans also flocked to the Jackson family home in Encino.

Lynn Perez said she was looking forward to seeing Jackson in concert for the first time on August 12.

"I wanted to wake up, and somebody tell me this isn't real," Perez said. "He didn't judge anybody. He loved everybody. He wanted world peace. He cared about children. He cared about hunger and the world."

Meanwhile, a candlelight vigil to remember Jackson's life and legacy is planned for Sunday at the original home of Motown Records in Detroit.

The Motown Historical Museum says the vigil at the Hitsville USA building will begin at 8 p.m. EDT Sunday. The historic building was the launching pad for Jackson's career. Hitsville includes Studio A, the studio where Jackson recorded as a member of The Jackson 5.


Load Comments