Michael Jackson's soul could very well be resting in peace now, which is more than anyone has been able to say for sure about the King of Pop's body.
But though the death certificate issued by the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office lists the funeral site, Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries, as the "temporary" disposition of his body, a spokesman for the L.A. County Public Health Office tells E! News that the cemetery is indeed Jackson's "rest place."
Health registrar Bryan Hill says that Jackson's body was transported back to Forest Lawn following yesterday's all-star memorial at Staples Center—thereby answering the once puzzling question of where Jackson's remains ended up last night.
Of course, "temporary" still could very well mean temporary, as the family has yet to reveal any official burial plans and the Jacksons' rep has remained mum.
And is the Forest Lawn where Jackson supposedly is the same one where his family held his funeral?
"'Temporary' means the mortuary or the place where that person is sitting is where they will sit until [the Jackson family makes] a diagnosis of what they want to do," Hill said. "If he was to be buried somewhere else, they'll have to show the permit to let the county know they're going to do that.
"Once they make that decision, they'll have to file a brand-new amendment, which will change the status of the temporary box, and then they'll announce what they're going to do with the body. At that time they'll file another permit."
But Forest Lawn actually has 10 locations in Southern California, the closest to Staples being the Hollywood Hills site, where the funeral was, and one in Glendale. And a source tells E! News that the hearse that ferried Jackson's coffin to the memorial returned to the Hollywood Hills last night—but the coffin did not.
Meanwhile, the Jackson family's decision to transport Michael's casket to Staples was in compliance with county ordinances—which also stipulated that the body had to be returned to the cemetery, the rest place of record.
"It's just like you taking the body from one church to the funeral site, you can do that," Hill said. "He didn't stay at the Staples Center. Forest Lawn is his rest place. It's just like if you had a parent pass away. You do it at an outside church, then you bring it back to the cemetery."
Well, in this case, the parent of three children did pass away, only it was a parent who happened to have been lauded by 19,500 people in an arena as a means of saying good-bye.
And the health department isn't going to be personally checking to ensure that Jackson's body is where protocol dictates it be.
"Are we going to police it as a county to make sure he doesn't leave there? You know how entertainment goes," remarked Hill.
Forest Lawn spokesman Bill Martin would not share any details, telling E! News that the Jackson family's privacy will continue to trump all inquiries.
L.A. funeral director Abe Lara tells us it is extremely rare to see a family file for temporary disposition.
"I have not seen this done," he said. "He has not been interred somewhere. He is being held."
Over in Encino, police are hoping to remove the shrine that sprang up in front of the Jackson family compound by this evening, with an eye on reopening the street to the public at 11 p.m., according to the LAPD's public information officer.
The stream of fans who have been showing up at the house since Michael's death June 25 has at last slowed to a trickle, a source at the location tells E! News.
—Reporting by Ken Baker, Whitney English, Lindsay Miller and Claudia Rosenbaum
(Originally published July 8, 2009, at 3:18 p.m. PT)