Death certificate: Travolta son killed by seizure


Published: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 8:20 p.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 5, 2009 at 8:20 p.m.

FREEPORT, Bahamas -- Jett Travolta's body shows no sign of head trauma and his death certificate says he was killed by a seizure, an undertaker said Monday, as the 16-year-old's celebrity parents prepared to return his remains to the United States.

Glen Campbell, assistant director of the Bahamian funeral home handling the remains of John Travolta's son, told The Associated Press that the body is in "great condition," despite police officials who had said the teen hit his head on a bathtub.

Jett Travolta had a history of seizures and was found unconscious in a bathroom Friday at a family vacation home on Grand Bahama Island.

Authorities didn't release the results of an autopsy performed Monday, but Campbell saw the body and the death certificate, which was based on its findings.

"The only cause of death that was listed was 'seizure'," he said.

Late Monday, a black hearse traveled from the funeral home to the airport after the family indicated they were bringing Jett's remains to Ocala, Florida, where they own a home. Two white jets waited as police in dress uniforms blocked access to the tarmac.

But the hearse was dispatched as a ruse, funeral home director Keith McSweeney told a news conference later Monday, adding that Jett's remains were actually being cremated. He said the family was planning to leave the Bahamas with the ashes on Tuesday. He said he could not explain the reason for the decoy.

In a public statement released Sunday, John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston said they were "heartbroken that our time with him was so brief."

Travolta tried CPR to revive his son, who may have died in his arms before an emergency medical technician took over, Usmagazine.com reported, citing Travolta attorneys Michael McDermott and Michael Ossi. They did not respond to calls from the AP on Monday.

Travolta, 54, and Preston, 46, have said Jett became very sick when he was 2 years old and was diagnosed with Kawasaki Syndrome, an illness that leads to inflamed blood vessels. Preston has blamed household cleaners and fertilizers and said a detoxification program based on teachings from the Church of Scientology helped improve his health, according to People magazine.

Police said in a statement that Jett had not been seen since Thursday when a caretaker, Jeff Kathrain, found him unconscious late Friday morning. But McDermott said that wrongly left the impression that Jett was unsupervised. He said two nannies were with Jett throughout the evening, and he does not believe the teen was in the bathroom for very long.

About a dozen security guards and Bahamian police officers patrolled around the luxury Old Bahama Bay resort community Sunday where the Travoltas have their home. The white-sand beach in front of the suites was closed.

The couple also has an 8-year-old daughter, Ella Bleu.

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham sent condolences to the Travolta family and said the autopsy is a formality the country requires in cases of sudden death to rule out foul play.

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