Michael Jackson’s body will return to his Neverland Ranch on Thursday morning for a public viewing Friday, CNN has learned.
A private memorial service is scheduled for Sunday. Also, a Jackson will, written in 2002, has been found, according to family lawyer Londell McMillan. It was not immediately clear whether Jackson’s body would be interred at Neverland. He purchased the Neverland Ranch, north of Santa Barbara, in 1987 and filled it with animals and amusement rides. He lived at the property until soon after his 2005 acquittal on child molestation charges. He later ran into financial problems with Neverland but retained a stake in it at the time of his death June 25. The ranch is named for the fictional world in J.M. Barrie’s “Peter Pan,” a favorite story of Jackson’s. The singer’s hometown of Gary, Indiana, is asking the family to have him buried there, according to the mayor’s spokeswoman. Watch the latest twists in the Jackson story » Gary Mayor Rudy Clay has been in contact with the Jackson family hoping to make that happen, spokeswoman Lalosa Burns said Tuesday. The city is planning a memorial service, scheduled for July 10 at U.S. Steel Works ballpark in Gary, Burns said.
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It would be “a memorial that’s fit for the prince of peace and a memorial that’s fit for Gary, Indiana’s favorite son, the greatest entertainer that ever lived,” Clay said. A burial site for the singer could be near a proposed Jackson family museum and a performing arts center, Burns said.
“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,” Burns said. “We have not received confirmation on that.” Jackson’s father, Joe, visited the city last year and talked with Clay about a Jackson museum, Burns said.