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Inquiry Into Linda McCartney’s Death Begins

Although Linda McCartney’s ashes have reportedly already been
scattered at a family ranch in Arizona and farm in England,
questions about the exact location and nature of her death have yet
to be laid to rest.

Contrary to reports that Linda McCartney’s death last week
occurred in Santa Barbara, where she and husband Paul had been
vacationing, family spokesperson Geoff Baker has now confirmed that
her passing occurred at an undisclosed location “that was private
to her and her family.”

“Everyone has assumed that it was Santa Barbara, California,”
Baker said in a statement yesterday to Britain’s national Press
Association. “In an effort to allow the family time to get back to
England in peace and in private, it was stated that she died in
Santa Barbara.”

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department announced
Wednesday that it had opened an inquiry into McCartney’s death when
no death certificate or cremation authorization request were filed
with the county.

Although People magazine reported on its website
Wednesday that McCartney died at a family estate outside of Tucson
and the Arizona Daily Star quoted unidentified sources
claiming the Pima County medical examiner authorized her cremation,
the family has neither confirmed or denied the reports. As death
certificates are not entered into the public record in Arizona,
state officials can’t confirm the reports.

Suggestions that McCartney’s death might have been an assisted
suicide have been flatly denied by the family. A statement issued
by McCartney’s oncologist, Dr. Larry Norton of Memorial
Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York said “she died of natural
causes of metastic breast cancer.”

In response to the flurry of questions that have surrounded his
wife’s death, Paul made a plea to the British Press Association
Wednesday that his family be left in peace.

“Any suggestion that her death was assisted is complete and
utter rubbish, a total nonsense,” refuted the former Beatle, who in
a statement Tuesday said his wife died in his arms. “Our family has
received many beautiful messages of sympathy from ordinary people
around the world. Reading their messages, we know that ordinary
people would want our request for simple privacy to be respected.
This is a personal request from me …”

The McCartneys maintained a 150-acre ranch outside of Tucson,
which they purchased in 1979. In the mid-Sixties, Linda briefly
attended the University of Arizona before returning to her home
state of New York.


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