The plane, a Gulfstream III that is reportedly owned by For Colored Girls filmmaker Tyler Perry, took off from California yesterday afternoon. E! Online reports that private security escorted the body from the morgue to the airport where Los Angeles Police Department officers were on hand for crowd control.
Upon its arrival in New Jersey, Whitney’s body was taken to the Whigham Funeral Home in Houston’s hometown of Newark to be prepared for internment.
It is believed that a smaller wake for Whitney may take place on Thursday night, but a larger memorial service for Whitney is reportedly in the works at the Prudential Center Arena, which seats upwards of 17 000 people, reports E! Online.
E! News learned that Rev. Marvin Winans, who officiated over Whitney’s wedding to Bobby Brown in 1992, is likely to preside over her funeral.
Whitney was born in Newark on 9 August 1963 and regularly attended the Hope Baptist Church in the area, where she first started performing.
BANG Showbiz reports that mourners have been heading to the church since Whitney’s sudden death on Saturday (12 February), with local Shawn Cooper quoted as saying: “The Houston family means a lot to this community, they have done a lot for this community, and being there for them is the best thing we can do as a community today.”
While Whitney’s autopsy has been completed and her body returned to her family, no further details about the star’s cause of death have been released. Her autopsy results have been placed on a “security hold” until toxicology tests have been completed – which are likely to take a further few weeks.