Casey Kasem’s body was reportedly on the way to Europe earlier this week, and late Thursday the destination was determined: Norway.
That’s a long way for the remains of the Top 40 radio icon to travel, especially given the fact that according to his three eldest children he wanted to be buried at Forest Lawn in Glendale.
Jean Kasem, his second wife and mother of his youngest child, Liberty Kasem, has petitioned officials in Norway to allow Casey’s body to be buried in that country, the Norwegian newspaper VG said Thursday (via the Hollywood Reporter). TMZ had reported Monday that the remains were headed to Europe from the funeral home in Montreal, where Jean had the body sent after his June 15 death in Washington state -- against the wishes of his three eldest children.
Jean Kasem claimed in a letter to officials posted by VG and verified by NBC News on Friday that she had Norwegian roots on her mother’s side and intended to move there by year’s end. Her late husband “always said that Norway symbolizes peace and looks like heaven,” she wrote, adding that she’d “like to respectfully fulfill his wishes.”
Though the whereabouts of the body were not known Friday, an official told NBC News that “the family has our permission to bury him in Oslo."
Casey Kasem died at age 82 of Lewy body dementia after weeks of legal battles between Jean Kasem and his eldest daughter, Kerri Kasem, who was acting on behalf of herself, her brother Mike and her sister Julie. Kerri Kasem was eventually made conservator of her father’s medical care, and with a judge’s blessing she allowed the removal of his hydration and nutrition as ordered in his 2011 advance healthcare directive.
Santa Monica police have reportedly been investigating an elder-abuse complaint filed by the three eldest children, alleging Jean Kasem hastened their father’s death by transporting him without their knowledge from a Santa Monica assisted-living facility to Las Vegas and then to Gig Harbor, Wash., during which time he allegedly developed a serious infection.
A spokesman for Kerri Kasem and her siblings told the Los Angeles Times that the family had no official statement as of Friday afternoon.
“We are trying to confirm if Jean is lying again about her heritage,” Danny Deraney said via email.
“The bottom line is, Jean is hiding from authorities,” he told People. “She’s hiding the body away from the authorities, family and friends.”