Whitney Houston's body was flown out of Los Angeles Monday, and headed to New Jersey, where her family was making arrangements for a funeral at the end of the week.
On Saturday, the pop singer was found underwater and apparently unconscious in a bathtub at the Beverly Hilton Hotel when found, Beverly Hills police said Monday. She was 48.
The coroner's office released the body to the family Monday morning. Later, a police convoy accompanied two vehicles into a Van Nuys Airport hangar, and a private, twin-engine jet rolled out of the hangar and took off shortly after 3 p.m. PT.
Two people who spoke with Houston's family, and spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak for the family, said Houston's relatives raised the possibility of a wake Thursday and a funeral Friday at Newark's Prudential Center, an arena that can seat about 18,000 people. They added that funeral arrangements are being made by Newark's Whigham Funeral Home, which handled the 2003 funeral of Houston's father.
Singer found unconscious, underwater: police
On Saturday, the singer was found by a member of her personal staff at approximately 3:30 p.m. local time, Lt. Mark Rosen said. Rosen says Houston was pulled from the tub by members of her staff and hotel security was promptly notified. First aid was attempted, but the singer was unresponsive.
Further details of Houston's death are not being released to preserve the integrity of the investigation, he said.
"As of right now, it's not a criminal investigation," Rosen told a news conference. "We have concluded our portion of the investigation at the hotel."
Rosen said it was a coroner's case and police were awaiting the determination of the cause of death. The coroner's office says toxicology testing is continuing.
It could be weeks before investigators know exactly why she died. Coroner's officials said earlier that they will not release any information on an autopsy performed Sunday at the request of police detectives investigating the singer's death. Houston was found in the bathtub of her room, but Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter declined to say anything more about the room's condition or any evidence investigators recovered.
There were no indications of foul play and no obvious signs of trauma on Houston's body, but officials were not ruling out any causes of death until they have toxicology results, which will likely take weeks to obtain.
"We do not know yet and when we find out we will be in contact with the Beverly Hills PD," Winter said Monday. "But first we'll be in contact with the family and give them our findings."
Security holds on autopsy results are used in some high-profile Los Angeles cases, with Michael Jackson's results being withheld for weeks while detectives pieced together the circumstances of his death in June 2009. Toxicology results are frequently necessary before the coroner will release an official cause of death.
Winter said the body was released late Monday morning. He would not say where the body was taken but said that typically a family will work with a funeral home to make arrangements.
A member of Houston's entourage found the 48-year-old singer unresponsive in her hotel room on Saturday, just hours before she was supposed to appear at a pre-Grammy gala.
Music world tributes
The Grammys on Sunday were in part a memorial to Houston, a six-time winner. LL Cool J introduced a clip near the start of the show of a glowing Houston singing her signature ballad, a cover of Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You.
'We ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina...I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time'—Bobby Brown
Bonnie Raitt and Stevie Wonder were among performers who praised Houston, and Jennifer Hudson capped the tributes with an emotional version of I Will Always Love You that ended with a personal note: "Whitney, we love you." Houston's most famous song was the most downloaded single for much of Sunday on iTunes.
Meanwhile, Houston's daughter was transported by ambulance to a Los Angeles hospital Sunday morning and later released. Bobbi Kristina Brown, 18, who is Houston's daughter from her marriage to singer Bobby Brown, had accompanied her mother to several pre-Grammy Awards events last week.
"At this time, we ask for privacy, especially for my daughter, Bobbi Kristina," Bobby Brown wrote in a statement. "I appreciate all of the condolences that have been directed towards my family and I at this most difficult time."
A sensation from her very first album, Houston was one of the world's bestselling artists from the mid-1980s to the late 1990s. She awed millions with soaring but disciplined vocals rooted in gospel and polished for the masses, a bridge between the earthy passion of her godmother, Aretha Franklin, and the bouncy pop of her cousin, Dionne Warwick.
Her success carried her beyond music to movies, where she became a rare black actress with box office appeal, starring in such hits as The Bodyguard and Waiting to Exhale.
Bishop T.D. Jakes, a Texas minister and producer on Houston's final film project, a re-make of the 1970s release Sparkle, said he saw no signs Houston was having any substance issues. He said Houston was a complete professional and moved the cast and crew to tears two months ago when she sang the gospel hymn His Eye is on the Sparrow for a scene.
"There was no evidence in working with her on Sparkle that there was any struggle in her life," Jakes said Sunday. "She just left a deep impression on everybody."