BY MICHAEL R. BLOOD
The Associated Press
LOS ANGELES — An effort to bury Michael Jackson at Neverland Ranch fizzled and it appears more likely a funeral and burial will take place in Los Angeles, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Authorities in Santa Barbara County had been preparing for tens of thousands of fans to descend on the 2,500-acre ranch after media reports that a public viewing would take place later this week.
But the person, who is not authorized to speak for the family and requested anonymity, said nothing is planned for Neverland at least through Friday.
The person said it appears more likely a funeral and burial will take place in Los Angeles. The family has the final say.
A private memorial service for family and friends could take place at the ranch, most likely after the funeral.
The person said billionaire Thomas Barrack, who owns Neverland in a joint venture with Jackson, sought an exemption to bury the singer at the ranch. But the person says it's a complicated process and it couldn't be done for a burial this week.
"The family is aware a Neverland burial is not possible. They are expected to make decisions about whatever funeral and memorial service" will take place, the source said.
Heavy construction equipment and workers were seen passing through the wrought-iron gates of Neverland on Tuesday. The property is about 120 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
At once a symbol of Jackson's success and excesses, Neverland — the 2,500-acre property nestled in the hills of Santa Barbara County's wine country — became the site of a makeshift memorial after his death Thursday.