Michael Jackson‘s body will return to his former Neverland Ranch estate in Santa Barbara, California, for a public viewing on Friday, according to new reports.
Jackson bought the estate in 1987 and turned it into an amusement park. He moved out of the mansion in 2005 after local authorities swept through his private sanctuary looking for evidence to use against the singer in his child molestation case.
Following his acquittal, he insisted he’d never return to live at Neverland, but he retained a stake in the property up until his death last week.
Funeral details are yet to be announced. The late pop star’s family is awaiting the results of an independent autopsy, conducted on Monday, before announcing burial plans.
A private memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, according to CNN.
Rudy Clay, the Mayor of the singer’s hometown of Gary, Indiana, has publicly asked the Jackson family to consider burying or cremating the pop star in his birthplace.
Clay has told Chicago radio station WGN that he expects Jackson’s body will be taken to Gary for a memorial service at Steel Works ballpark that he is planning for next week.
He says, “I believe that his body will lie in state in Gary, Indiana.”
Clay’s spokeswoman Lalola Burns tells CNN, “The Mayor had spoken with a contact of the Jackson family and expressed our interest in having that to be a part of the history of this great family (sic).”
Jackson’s father, Joe, returned to Gary in 2008 to discuss plans for a Jackson museum with the Mayor.
(c) 2009 WORLD ENTERTAINMENT NEWS NETWORK LTD. All global rights reserved. No unauthorized copying or re-distributing permitted.