Within a family dispute of the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction variety, legendary radio DJ Casey Kasem has turned up missing, prompting an L.A. Superior Court Judge to order an investigation to determine his whereabouts. Kasem, 82, has been thought to suffer from Parkinson’s disease, but CNN is reporting that the family recently learned he actually suffers from Lewy body disease, a progressive ailment similar to Parkinson’s that causes dementia.
The former “American Top 40” radio show host’s disappearance seems to be fueled by a long-standing family disagreement in the courts between his current wife Jean Kasem (who oversees his care) and his grown children from a previous marriage. The children have claimed their stepmother is “wicked,” is isolating their father, and has repeatedly denied them access to visit him, frequently moving him between medical facilities without warning. Jean Kasem has filed reports claiming that their presence is “toxic and distressing” to their father. A prior agreement between daughters Julie and Kerri Kasem and their stepmother had caused a dismissal of a previous court case, but the daughters say that agreement was breached. Kerri Kasem has since asked the courts for conservatorship over her father and his affairs.
The daughters say they were able to visit their father in the nursing home last week, but shortly after the visit, Kasem was allegedly moved in the night to an unknown location. At a court hearing Monday, Judge Daniel S. Murphy granted Kerri Kasem temporary conservatorship and appointed her as temporary caretaker for her father, pending a later court date. However, Craig Marcus, attorney for Jean Kasem, also showed up in court, telling the judge that he had “no idea” as to Casey Kasem’s whereabouts, only that he was “out of the country,” and insisting it was Jean Kasem’s right to move him as she saw fit.
This news is what apparently prompted the judge to order the investigation, telling the attorney, “Your statements concern me even more.”
Being appointed conservator gave Kerri Kasem access to the entertainer’s medical records, which is when she tells CNN she discovered he was suffering from Lewy body disease, rather than Parkinson’s.
The family has also expressed concern for Casey Kasem’s safety and physical/emotional well-being, and is asking the public to be on the lookout for any sign of his whereabouts.
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