Mystery Surrounds Michael Jackson's Burial

Published July 08, 2009

| FoxNews.com

The public mourning of Michael Jackson may be done, but the saga that was his personal life is far from over.

Nothing made that more clear than the one surprise of Tuesday's memorial service, watched by millions around the world: the emotional speech by Jackson's 11-year-old daughter, Paris-Michael.

"Ever since I was born, Daddy has been the best father I could imagine," she said, dissolving into tears and turning into the arms of her aunt Janet. "I just want to say I love him so much."

Custody of Jackson's three children is one of the biggest legal issues still unresolved. In his 2002 will, Jackson made his wishes clear — his three children should remain under the care of his mother, Katherine.

Debbie Rowe, the biological mother of Paris and her 12-year-old brother, Prince Michael, has indicated she may seek custody. The surrogate mother of Jackson's youngest child, 7-year-old Prince Michael II, is unknown. A custody hearing was scheduled for Monday.

As the world paused to remember Jackson, authorities released his death certificate, which did not list a cause of death. The official determination will likely wait until toxicology results are completed, which could be weeks away.

Jackson's body left the Staples Center in Los Angeles in a funeral motorcade Tuesday, it wasn't immediately clear where the King of Pop's body was headed.

Los Angeles police told FOX News that the hearse carrying Jackson's golden casket would be taken to a cemetery, but it appears unlikely that the cemetery will be Forest Lawn Memorial Park, as was originally expected.

FOX News obtained a copy of Jackson's death certificate, dated Tuesday, which names Forest Lawn for temporary use. The family held a private service there before the casket was taken to the Staples Center, but Los Angeles Officer April Harding said Jackson's body will not be returning there.

"Deferred" is typed in the space on the death certificate for "cause of death," since authorities are waiting for the results of additional forensic tests before reaching their conclusion. The certificate is signed by Los Angeles County Health Officer Jonathan Fielding. Other information has been redacted.

Click here to view death certificate.

Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told the Associated Press that Jackson's brain, or at least part of it, was still being held by investigators and would be returned to the family for interment once neuropathology tests were completed.

"As soon as we are done with the brain, we will return it," Winter said. "There is a whole series of tests that will be done."

It is not uncommon for the coroner to hold on to a brain or samples from it. Winter said families sometimes delay burying a loved one until after the brain has been returned, but he had received no word from the Jackson family about their intentions.

"The last I heard, they are not burying the body yet," Winter said.

Police and coroner's officials continue to probe what killed the 50-year-old singer on June 25.

Investigators have honed in on drugs that were administered to the insomniac Jackson. The powerful sedative Diprivan, which is usually administered by anesthesiologists in hospitals, was found in his home, according to a law enforcement official.

Some have suggested burying him at his former home Neverland Ranch but special permission is needed. A private memorial was held at a cemetery in the Hollywood Hills that is the resting place of many stars, but it does not appear Jackson will be buried among them.

No plans have been announced for Neverland, but it's already drawn comparisons as a potential West Coast version of Graceland.

Then there's Jackson's money. He died deeply in debt, but with tremendous star power, earning potential and an estate potentially worth $500 million.

Former Sony Music chairman and CEO Tommy Mottola has said Jackson left dozens of songs that included newer material and leftover works from some of his biggest albums. Mottola predicted the potential playlist was bigger than the one left behind by Elvis.

The singer also left behind an elaborate production dubbed "The Dome Project," which could be Jackson's last complete video piece. Little is publicly known about the production, but its existence has been confirmed by two knowledgeable sources who spoke to The Associated Press on condition they not be identified because they signed confidentiality agreements.

There also is more than 100 hours of footage of preparations for his London concerts, which were canceled because of his death. Randy Phillips, president and CEO of concert promoter AEG Live, said last week that the company also has enough material for two live albums.

PHOTOS: Click here for scenes from the Michael Jackson memorial.

Forest Lawn, the sprawling memorial park in the Hollywood Hills, is in fact returning to normal after today's private memorial there for Jackson. The cemetery reopened by late morning after the Jackson family left.

Forest Lawn is the final resting place for dozens of notables including recently deceased actor David Carradine and "Tonight Show" sidekick Ed McMahon.

Earlier Tuesday, a half-dozen fans waited hours to get into the area, hoping to catch a glimpse of the motorcade.

Click here for all of FOXNews.com's coverage of Michael Jackson.

FOXNews.com's Hollie McKay and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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