The body of Casey Kasem, radio host and the cartoon voice of Shaggy, is missing. The family legal squabbles have raged on even following Kasem’s death at the age of 82 on Father’s Day, June 15. The American Top 40 announcer’s second wife, Jean, contends she should have the final say over her deceased husband’s final resting place. His adult children from his first marriage disagree.
They believe that they should have this right, as Kasey reportedly mentioned to them where he wanted his final resting place to be. Casey Kasem’s daughter, Kerri, has stated that she thinks that Jean Kasem, acting out of spite, has possibly already taken her father’s body out of the country to have him buried.
In the months leading up to the passing of Casey Kasem, the adult children of the radio host had several court battles with Kasem’s second wife, Jean, 60. Though a judge granted Kerri a conservatorship over her the health of her father, Jean did not like it that Kerri and her siblings wanted to carry out Kasem’s written wishes and withhold food, water and medicine from him in his final days rather than to prolong his agony any longer. Casey’s second wife argued in court that her husband’s adult children were trying to prematurely end Casey’s life.
Not long before his death, doctors informed Kerri that he just had a few days left to live.The doctors told her that Casey’s body was in the process of shutting down. They recommended that he should be placed in a hospice and that, as the artificial feeding and hydration he was receiving was causing him to experience painful side-effects similar to drowning, those measures should be stopped.
According to Danny Deraney, publicist for Kerri Kasem, Jean Kasem was responsible for having Casey’s body removed from Gaffney Funeral Home in Tacoma, Washington. Casey Kasem had been in a hospice in Santa Monica, California, placed there by his adult children from his first marriage. Then, Jean Kasem allegedly removed her sick and dying husband from the hospice and drove him in her car to Washington, where they holed up at the house of a friend of the family.
Though the adult children of Casey Kasem eventually got their father back, Jean Kasem was still waging court battles against them up to the time of Casey’s demise. While under hospice care, Casey Kasem passed away at St. Anthony Hospital in Gig Harbor.
The death of Casey Kasem was not the end of the legal battles, though. After his death, each side wanted the final say in the final resting place of the much-beloved radio host. When Casey’s body disappeared from the Gaffney Funeral Home, Kerri Kasem immediately considered the possibility that Jean had spirited her father’s body out of the country.
When Jean was asked by a reporter at CNN if her husband’s body was missing and if she had anything to do with it, she answered “It’s not. Would you leave us to grieve in peace?” However, she did not comment about why she is convinced that her husband’s body is not missing.
According to an employee at Gaffney Funeral Home, Candace Corkum, Casey Kasem’s body had been at their facility in Washington, but she added that it was not there in their care currently. She did not or could not tell the CNN reporter she spoke to exactly how Kasem’s body was taken from the funeral home.
Tim Grant, funeral director at Gaffney Funeral Home & Cremation Services, also stated that the body of Casey Kasem was no longer there. He said that he “cannot discuss the actual arrangements themselves.”
The New York Daily News on Friday mentioned that Jean Kasem had commissioned a privately done autopsy to be performed on her husband. Despite a temporary restraining order that Kerri Kasem had been granted on Wednesday by Pierce County Superior Court Judge Ronald Culpepper, meant to prevent Jean Kasem from spiriting away Kasem’s body and having it buried elsewhere, the order apparently came too late. Jean Kasem had already made arrangements for Casey’s body to be transported to the Urgel Bourgie Funeral Home in Montreal, Canada, according to a copy of the death certificate.
However, a man who answered the phone there claimed that Casey Kasem’s body was not there and that his name had never been in the computer system. Kerri has a few other ideas of where Jean Kasem may have had Casey’s body shipped.
Kerri stated that her dad “lived in Los Angeles for 45 years.” She added that her “stepmother is not acting in my father’s best interest or respecting his wishes” if she has, indeed, buried his body in Canada. Kerri Kasem thinks that if her stepmother, Jean, has not had her father’s body buried in Canada, it might have been shipped to some other country to be buried. She reportedly believes that his body might even end up even in France or Israel.
Kerri stated that Forest Lawn Cemetery, located in Hollywood Hills, California, was where her father had told his adult children that he wanted his final resting place to be. Yet, Jean Kasem’s use of a Jerusalem address on Casey’s death certificate has led Kerri to suspect that her stepmother might have had his body shipped to Israel for burial.
Kerri, accusing her stepmother of elder abuse, has filed a police report in Santa Monica, California, to have a follow-up autopsy done on her father. She is afraid that the truth might never be known about her father’s death if her stepmother, Jean, has removed Casey’s body or has had it cremated.
Casey Kasem was suffering from an infected pressure wound that Kerri believes was caused sometime after Jean removed him from hospice care and journeyed with him cross country to Washington. He was also suffering from a type of dementia known as Lewy Body Disease.
It might be a long time, if ever, before the truth about what happened to the missing body of radio host Casey Kasem is known. The legal wranglings between the adult children of Casey Kasem and their stepmother, Jean, are likely far from over. There is a possibility that the body of the radio icon has yet to be buried.
Written By Douglas Cobb