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Joe Jackson suspects Michael 'foul play'
Updated: 2009-06-30 08:47

Joe Jackson suspects Michael 'foul play'

Michael Jackson's father suspects "foul play" in his son's death.

Joe Jackson refused to reveal any details about his concerns, but admitted he was struggling to come to terms with the suddenness of Michael's passing last week.

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He said: "Michael was dead before he left the house. I'm suspecting foul play somewhere. He was waving to everybody and telling them he loves them and all the fans at the gate. A few minutes after Michael was out there, he was dead."

Michael died of a suspected cardiac arrest at the Los Angeles home he rented.

An autopsy has indicated no signs of trauma or foul play, but toxicology tests are not expected to come back for four to six weeks. The Jackson family have ordered a second autopsy, and are believed to be keen for police to start a criminal investigation.

Joe claimed the family are yet to decide on the funeral arrangements for Michael, although it has been reported it could take place as soon as Wednesday (01.07.09).

He also confirmed he and his wife Katherine are caring for Michael's three children, Prince Michael, 12, Paris, 11, and seven-year-old Prince Michael II, adding the kids are his "first priority".

The Case Sensitive Unit at the Los Angeles County Department of Child and Family Services visited the children on Friday (26.06.09) to discuss who will be caring for them.

Reports have suggested Michael's ex-wife Debbie Rowe - the mother of his two eldest children - may seek custody, but would need to be thoroughly vetted before any action takes place.

A source said: "This is listed as a 'Caretaker Absence' situation and we are highly sensitised to such a high-profile case. You can't just become a parent - how much contact has Rowe had with the kids? Criminal checks, dietary and immunisation checks will all be done."

Despite Joe's claims his son was in good shape prior to his death, leaked autopsy reports suggest he was frail and almost bald.

The pop legend reportedly weighed just 51kg when he passed away, and his stomach was empty except for partially-dissolved prescription pills.

His hips, thighs and shoulders were covered in needle marks, believed to be the result of narcotic painkillers the singer took three times a day.

There were also four injection sites near his heart - evidence of a failed bid to pump adrenaline directly into the organ in an attempt to restart it.

Michael's personal doctor Conrad Murphy - who is understood to have injected the 50-year-old singer's heart with adrenaline in a bid to save him - has been questioned by police.

It is claimed Murphy - who was due to travel to London with Michael ahead of his 50-date comeback tour - gave Michael an injection of painkiller Demerol shortly before his death. His lawyer Edward Chernoff has denied this and his spokesman has insisted he is not being treated as a suspect.

Speaking about the Demerol claim, Chernoff said: "Not ever, not that day. Not Oxycontin either, for that matter. Michael Jackson had specific medical problems that Dr. Murray as his private physician inherited. As a result of the tour he was doing in Europe, Michael was under a lot of stress. He was doing a lot of dates in a very short time."

Stressing Murphy is as mystified as anyone about Michael's death, Chernoff added: "He didn't have any idea what killed Michael Jackson. From what he knows the death is a surprise and a mystery. He was a frail man, he didn't like to drink or eat. He wasn't exactly healthy to begin with."

It has been suggested Michael's remaining siblings - Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon, Randy, Janet, La Toya and Tito - could form a new version of the Jackson 5 and step in to play one or more of the shows the star was due to perform at London's O2 arena next month.

Rumours of a star-studded tribute concert at the venue have also surfaced.

Meanwhile, Debbie - who was married to Michael from 1996 to 1999 - has denied claiming in an interview that the star wasn't the father of her two children, Prince Michael and Paris.

Debbie's attorney Marta Almli told gossip website RadarOnline: "The interview did not occur. The article is a complete fabrication."