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Jackson Family Issues Statement To Fans

The Jackson family issued a statement Saturday to People Magazine, conveyed by family patriarch Joseph Jackson. In full, it reads:

"In one of the darkest moments of our lives we find it hard to find the words appropriate to this sudden tragedy we all had to encounter. Our beloved son, brother and father of three children has gone so unexpectedly, in such a tragic way and much too soon. It leaves us, his family, speechless and devastated to a point, where communication with the outside world seems almost impossible at times.

We miss Michael endlessly, our pain cannot be described in words. But Michael would not want us to give up now. So we want to thank all of his faithful supporters and loyal fans worldwide, you - who Michael loved so much. Please do not despair, because Michael will continue to live on in each and every one of you. Continue to spread his message, because that is what he would want you to do. Carry on, so his legacy will live forever.

In addition, Joseph Jackson wishes to personally convey: "My grandchildren are deeply moved by all the love and support you have shown for them and their father, Michael Jackson."

Joseph Jackson & Family"

Earlier Saturday, the Rev. Jesse Jackson said that Michael Jackson's family wants an independent autopsy to determine the cause of the King of Pop's death.

The family told Jesse Jackson about its wishes while he spent time with them during the past two days, the reverend said in an interview with The Associated Press.

He said there were unanswered questions surrounding the death, including the role of the personal cardiologist who was with Michael Jackson when he died.

The Los Angeles County coroner's office performed an autopsy on the singer's body on Friday but deferred a finding on the cause of death pending further tests that could take more than a month.

Coroner's officials said they released Michael Jackson's body to his family late Friday night. Jesse Jackson did not say if an independent autopsy had been arranged.

More Michael Jackson coverage:

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Jackson Family Issues Statement To Fans
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