Jackson funeral postponed from birthday

Michael Jackson will not be buried on what would have been his 51st birthday as originally planned, a spokesman for his family confirmed today.

Michael Jackson will not be buried on what would have been his 51st birthday as originally planned, a spokesman for his family confirmed today.

The late King of Pop was due to be interred on August 29 during a private ceremony at the Great Mausoleum at Forest Lawn cemetery in Los Angeles.

However, in a brief statement released today it was announced that the date had been put back to September 3. No reason was given for the changed arrangements.

The statement added that the ceremony would be limited to family and close friends.

Jackson died on June 25 at his rented property in Los Angeles. Investigators are working on the theory that the singer's heart stopped hours after he was given a heavy sedative to help him sleep.

Jackson will be buried at Forest Lawn's Glendale site, around eight miles north of downtown Los Angeles.

It boasts a mausoleum with replicas of the work of Renaissance greats, including Michelangelo's David and Leonardo da Vinci's Last Supper recreated in stained glass.

Others stars believed to be buried at Glendale, which opened in 1906, include Hollywood actors Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn and Clark Gable.

Details of the burial place and the original date were released earlier this week, following speculation over his final resting place.

At first it was suggested he would be buried at the Neverland Ranch, his sprawling property in Santa Barbara.

It was also rumoured at one stage that he would be buried in an unmarked grave so as to prevent his final resting place becoming a shrine for fans.

Jackson's burial had been delayed while experts conducted a number of post-mortem examinations and toxicology tests.

However, the late singer's brain was returned to the family earlier this month, leading the way for burial plans to be made.

Publication of the results of the autopsy are yet to be made public, with coroners in LA waiting until the end of a police investigation into Jackson's death.

Post-mortem examination results are widely expected to show that Jackson was on heavy medication when he died at his rented Beverly Hills home.

The police investigation into Jackson's death has increasingly focused on the role the pop star's personal doctor played in the events leading up to his collapse.

During the past month, a number of Dr Conrad Murray's offices and his home have been raided by federal agents looking for evidence.

Sources indicate they are working on the belief that the physician gave the pop star propofol - a powerful sedative - to help him sleep shortly before he died.

Federal agents last week raided a pharmacy in Las Vegas connected to Jackson's physician. They came away with evidence that an anaesthetic of the type thought to have killed the singer was brought by the doctor.

Dr Murray has not been named as a suspect but court records identified him as the subject of a manslaughter investigation.

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