Funeral director says Brown's body not moved

File/Associated Press
A British tabloid quoted a daughter of James Brown as saying his body had been moved to avoid an autopsy.

The funeral director who handled the services for James Brown says a story in a British tabloid that his body has been moved is false.


LaRhonda Petit, who proved through a DNA test in 2007 that Brown was her father, said the remains of the entertainer had been removed from a crypt to avoid an autopsy, according to an article in Wednesday's issue of the Daily Mail. She also told the newspaper that her father's death was due to drug use and enablers -- not a heart attack.

"My daddy's body has disappeared," she was quoted as saying. "I have no clue where it was taken, but I need to know where."

However, Charlie Reid, the director of C.A. Reid Funeral Home, said the music legend's body remains where it was buried: in a two-tier mausoleum in the Aiken County front yard of his daughter Deanna Brown Thomas.

"There's no truth to that," Reid said of Petit's claim. "It would have had to have gone through us. We would have been contacted if that happened."

If the family did want to move the body, a permit is required, he said. Moving the body without one would be a criminal offense, Reid said.

"If this was the case, she (Petit) would need to talk to police," Reid said.

Brown died on Christmas Day 2006 in Atlanta. A private forensic agency did not conduct an autopsy but concluded that the cause of death was a heart attack, Reid said.

Elif Crawford, a spokeswoman for Thomas, said she would not be comment on Petit's statements. The family plans to issue a statement at a later date, Crawford said.