Private funeral for Michael Jackson held at LA cemetery

Friday, September 4, 2009

Los Angeles - About 200 invited guests gathered at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in a Los Angeles suburb on Thursday night for the funeral of Michael Jackson, more than two months after the pop star's death.

Members of the Jackson family arrived at the cemetery shortly after 8pm for the burial ceremony, which was earlier scheduled to begin at 7pm.

The self-proclaimed King of Pop, who died 25 June at 50 after being rushed to the hospital in a deep coma, was to be buried at the cemetery that is the final resting place of such late Hollywood celebrities as Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, Walt Disney and Nat King Cole.

Among the guests in attendance included former wife Lisa Marie Presley and longtime Jackson friends Elizabeth Taylor and Macaulay Culkin.

Authorities took extra measures to ensure that the service remained private as the cemetery was closed to the media and public. Security officers patrolled the grounds in search of trespassers, and police in helicopters kept a close watch from the air.

Meanwhile, flight restrictions over the cemetery were approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to keep news media helicopters at bay.

Los Angeles County coroner's office, which conducted an autopsy on Jackson's body after his death, has ruled his death a homicide, and his death certificate lists "injection by another" as the cause.

However, no charges have been filed regarding to the death of Jackson as prosecutors are still investigating the case.

Conrad Murray, Jackson's personal physician at the time when he died, told investigators he gave the pop star a series of sedatives and the powerful anesthetic propofol to help him sleep.