Kasem's remains removed from funeral home

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The remains of iconic deejay Casey Kasem have been moved from a Washington state funeral home, against the wishes of three of his adult children, their spokesman said.

Kasem, the former host of the syndicated radio programme American Top 40 who died on June 15 at age 82, had been the focus of a dispute between his three children from his first marriage and his second wife, Jean Kasem.

They said she had prevented them from visiting him as he suffered from Lewy body dementia, a malady with symptoms similar to Parkinson's disease.

As his health deteriorated, a Los Angeles judge sided with the children and permitted them to withhold food, hydration and Kasem's usual medication as they chose comfort-oriented, end-of- life care at a Washington state hospital.

Since then, Kasem's children Kerri, Julie and Mike have learnt his body was removed from Gaffney Funeral Home in Tacoma, Washington, against their wishes, said their spokesman last Friday. Kasem had wanted to be buried at Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale, California, the spokesman said.

The children believe their stepmother, who had legal rights over the body, arranged to have it moved but they do not know where it is, the spokesman said. "They're so used to this behaviour from her over time, it's almost like they saw this coming," he said.

A Washington state judge last Wednesday forbade movement of the body from the funeral home, according to the New York Daily News. The order was based on a request by Kerri Kasem, a radio host, to have an autopsy conducted on Casey Kasem to investigate suspicions of elder abuse, the spokesman said.

An attorney for Jean Kasem, who married Casey Kasem in 1980, did not return a call or e-mail.

Gaffney Funeral Home's administrative manager Candace Corkum confirmed Kasem's body was no longer at the facility. Final disposition of the remains happened before the judge's order last Wednesday, she said, but she declined to say what happened to the body.

Kerri Kasem told the New York Daily News she believed her stepmother took her father's body out of the country.

 
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