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Casey Kasem’s Body Missing From Funeral Home

The bizarre family feud that erupted in public before Casey Kasem’s death last month continues:

Casey Kasem’s body is no longer at the Washington state funeral home that had been keeping it, a rep for the radio icon’s eldest daughter said Friday.

The situation is “pure insanity,” rep Danny Deraney told the Los Angeles Times, confirming that the body was not at the funeral home where it had been held. “It’s sad that it’s gotten to this point.”

A judge had awarded daughter Kerri Kasem a temporary restraining order preventing her dad’s second wife, Jean Kasem, from cremating or removing the remains from the funeral home pending a decision about who could conduct a possible autopsy, the Associated Press reported Friday.

When news broke Thursday that the “American Top 40″ host remained unburied more than a month after his June 15 death, Deraney said the three eldest Kasem kids — Julie and Mike are the other two from Kasem’s first marriage — had accepted that Jean Kasem had authority over the body and that they didn’t intend to battle in court over his burial.

A judge had awarded daughter Kerri Kasem a temporary restraining order preventing her dad’s second wife, Jean Kasem, from cremating or removing the remains from the funeral home pending a decision about who could conduct a possible autopsy, the Associated Press reported Friday.

When news broke Thursday that the “American Top 40″ host remained unburied more than a month after his June 15 death, Deraney said the three eldest Kasem kids — Julie and Mike are the other two from Kasem’s first marriage — had accepted that Jean Kasem had authority over the body and that they didn’t intend to battle in court over his burial.

“I’m concerned about the results of any autopsy Jean Kasem may have commissioned and how they might be used,” Kerri Kasem wrote in court papers obtained by the AP. “Consequently, I thought it would be best to ask the Washington court to allow me to have an autopsy conducted by a forensic pathologist of my own selection.”

The three eldest Kasem children had filed an elder-abuse complaint with the Santa Monica Police Department around the time of Casey Kasem’s June 15 death. Any autopsy results might wind up a part of that investigation, believed to be ongoing. A police spokesman did not immediately reply to a Los Angeles Times request for comment.

Corey Gaffney of Gaffney Funeral Home in Tacoma, Wash., told ”Access Hollywood” on Friday that the body had not been in his care for at least two days.

“We can confirm that he is no longer in our care and that we carried out final disposition per the Death Certificate,” Gaffney said in an e-mail to The Times.

In Washington state, a surviving spouse trumps a majority of surviving children of the deceased when it comes to disposition of remains.

Sounds like a job for Scooby and the gang.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Ron Beasley says:

    Makes me glad I have little family. I have pre-payed to have my body cremated as soon as the medical examiner allows it and the ashes taken to the local national cemetery since I am a veteran..

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  2. michael reynolds says:

    Weekend at Casey’s?

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  3. CSK says:

    This whole sordid saga is beginning to sound like a really low rent version of an Alec Guinness movie.

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  4. rudderpedals says:

    He just went out for a nosh. BRAINZZZZZZ

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  5. ZOINKS! It’s like, a groovy mystery!

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  6. RGardner says:

    A few local comments as I attended a lecture on forensic autopsies in WA 2 years ago. There are about a dozen private coroners/medical examiners in WA that mostly do autopsies in the smaller counties and insurance cases (asbestos, etc). His death occurred in the 2nd most populous county in WA (so has a medical examiner) and in a new top-rated hospital. So you have a pool about a dozen coroners for hire licensed in WA – though you could hire someone from out of state to work with one of the WA folks, usually conducted in the funeral home.

    Also, the Gaffney Funeral Home is well respected, and local papers report they followed the WA law in releasing the body.. . But they were told the body was being shipped to Quebec (why? No idea), but the funeral home there knows nothing of this.

    I’m wondering if there is something hidden in WA law vice CA law that made his wife drag a dying man here. The house they were staying at in South Kitsap is, well, trashy. Maybe worth $130K (educated guess on my part as I don’t know the exact neighborhood)

    Bizarre.

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