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Casey Kasem’s children ask judge for custody of his remains — currently ‘rotting’ in Norway
Daughter Kerri Kasem says her stepmother, Jean Kasem, did not have the radio icon’s body properly embalmed before shipping it to Montreal and then Norway, and now it’s badly decayed. Kerri and her siblings asked a judge Friday for permission to bury him in Los Angeles, their lawyer told the Daily News.
Casey Kasem’s body is “rotting” in a Norwegian mortuary and his kids asked a judge Friday for permission to bring him home, their lawyer told the Daily News.
The 82-year-old radio icon died near Seattle in June, and his widow Jean Kasem quickly moved his remains to Montreal, and then Norway, as her stepdaughterKerri Kasem accused her of elder abuse.
In her court filing Friday, Kerri said Jean did not have the body embalmed before shipping it out of the country and leaving it to languish above ground and alone.
Officials in Montreal reportedly said the body had “decayed significantly” because it was “left unrefrigerated for some amount of time,” Kerri said in her declaration filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“They had to use three containers and then seal the box with caulk because the smell was so bad,” Kerri said in her Friday court filing.
Kerri and her siblings want the judge to give them formal custody of their father’s remains so they can bury him at Forest Lawn in Los Angeles, lawyer Martha Patterson said.
“The body is decomposing, and probate code states that if the party with priority fails to bury remains, then the duty to bury can go to the next person on the list. So if a spouse doesn’t act, then children or siblings can step in,” Patterson told The News.
I think what Jean has done with the body is horrifying.
“I think what Jean has done with the body is horrifying. It’s contrary to everything I’ve learned about transporting a body,” Patterson said. “I believe she’s intentionally doing this because we obtained an order authorizing a private autopsy.”
Kerri Kasem was appointed her famous dad’s conservator shortly before he died.
She is now urging police to file criminal charges against Jean Kasem following an elder abuse investigation started by the Santa Monica Police Department and later transferred to LAPD.
If prosecutors do not file charges, Kerri and her siblings will pursue a civil lawsuit, a source told The News Friday.
“I am my father’s daughter. He fought for what is right and just, no matter what or who his adversary was. Now it’s my turn,” Kerri said in a Facebook post Friday.
Kasem suffered from Lewy body dementia before he died and was at the center of a bitter family feud that erupted a year before his death.
Kerri along with her sister and brother from Kasem’s first marriage went public with the feud and sought court interventions after Jean allegedly blocked their access to the ailing DJ once he lost the ability to walk on his own or talk on the phone.
An independent, court-appointed lawyer met with the “American Top 40” star and confirmed he wanted to continue seeing his kids.
The sides reached a partial settlement in December, but Kerri petitioned for — and won — her own conservatorship in May, claiming Jean pulled the seriously ill entertainer out of a Southern California nursing home in the middle of the night against his doctor’s advice.
Jean disconnected Casey’s feeding tube and loaded him into the backseat of an SUV despite warnings he could die, according to a signed statements from Casey’s doctor and nurse obtained by private investigator Logan Clarke.
Jean and her lawyers have not responded to repeated requests for comment.
Best known for her roles in “Ghostbusters” and the sitcom “Cheers,” Jean took Casey to a private residence outside Seattle after leaving Santa Monica and threw raw meat at Kerri when she arrived to move her dad by ambulance to a hospital on June 1.
The hospital said Casey was admitted that day in critical condition with a serious infection from a bedsore.
Kasem’s body began shutting down in the hospital from sepsis, and doctors urged Kerri to transition him to end-of-life hospice, sources previously told The News.
He died peacefully surrounded by his three oldest kids and other friends and family on Father’s Day.
Jean Kasem took custody of his remains shortly afterward and told the Washington authorities who prepared his death certificate that she and the radio star lived in Jerusalem.
“My father Casey Kasem never lived in Israel,” Kerri said in her latest court filing seeking custody of his remains.
“The authorities in Montreal said that Jean had attempted to have the remains flown to Jerusalem but that the authorities in Israel refused to accept the body because it was so decayed,” Kerri said in her statement.