Michael Jackson's family seeks second autopsy

Sat Jun 27, 2009 7:04pm EDT
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By Dan Whitcomb

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Michael Jackson's family gathered at his parents' suburban Los Angeles home on Saturday to make funeral arrangements for the troubled King of Pop amid reports that they are seeking a second, independent autopsy.

The entertainer's father, Joseph, issued a statement calling his son's death "one of the darkest moments of our lives" and urging fans not to despair.

Jackson's body was returned to his family on Friday night after an examination by the Los Angeles County coroner's office failed to determine what killed the 50-year-old entertainer, pending toxicology tests that were expected to take weeks.

Meanwhile a lawyer for Dr. Conrad Murray, who was at Jackson's rented mansion in the Holmby Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles when he collapsed, said the physician had agreed to answer questions from police detectives.

"Dr. Murray intends to fully cooperate with investigators and law enforcement as they attempt to piece together what happened," attorney Bill Stradley told Reuters in an interview.

"Contrary to what has been out there, Dr. Murray has been cooperating with authorities from the outset and will continue to do so," Stradley said. "The impression that he has been hiding from authorities, that's not correct."

Murray was desperately trying to revive Jackson when paramedics arrived and he rode with the singer in an ambulance to the hospital where the pop star was pronounced dead.

Police have said they wanted to further question Murray, a Houston-based cardiologist, about the circumstances of Jackson's death but had not been able to arrange an interview.   Continued...

<p>A vendor sells posters of the late Michael Jackson near Jackson's star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles, California June 27, 2009. REUTERS/Joshua Lott</p>