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Secrecy surrounds whereabouts of remains

It is unclear whether John-Henry Williams' remains have been cryonically frozen, as were his famed father's.

Published March 9, 2004

Two years ago, John-Henry Williams produced an oil-stained, handwritten note that said he, his sister and his father wanted to be cryonically preserved after death so they could be reunited one day.

That note bolstered Williams' belief that the remains of his father, baseball great Ted Williams, should continue to be kept at an Arizona cryonics facility.

John-Henry Williams got his wish. But now that he has died, where are his remains?

No one would say Monday, at least not publicly.

Among those who said they did not know, or would not say, what has become of John-Henry Williams' remains were:

Alcor Life Extension Foundation, the facility where Ted Williams' remains are kept; Peter Sutton, who is a family lawyer in Boston; one of Williams' former business associates; a family friend; and a representative from the UCLA Medical Center, where the younger Williams, age 35, died Saturday night after a battle with leukemia.

Sutton said this was a private family matter.

"It's our policy not to confirm or deny existence of any patient at Alcor ... I cannot say anything," said Alcor CEO Joe Waynick.

Several people who might know the answer - such as Williams family lawyer Eric Abel; a Ted Williams' estate trustee, Al Cassidy; or Williams' sister, Claudia - did not return calls.

The Boston Globe and Boston Herald, citing anonymous sources close to the family, have reported that Williams' remains have been delivered to Alcor.

Efforts to obtain the information from John-Henry Williams' death certificate were unsuccessful Monday.

At the Los Angeles County health department, where the certificate will be sent from the hospital, communications manager Luci Kwak said the information is "definitely confidential."

The registrar recorder/county clerk, where the health department will send the certificate, won't get it for another three months, according to department spokeswoman Grace Chavez.

A UCLA Medical Center spokesman would not even confirm that John-Henry Williams had been treated at the hospital.

Ted Williams died in July 2002, and his remains were quickly taken to the Arizona facility. His daughter, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, mounted a legal challenge against her half siblings: John-Henry and Claudia.

She questioned the note that called for the cryonic preservation and asked a court to allow her father to be cremated, as he had requested in his will.

In December 2002, Williams Ferrell dropped her legal challenge.

- Suzannah Gonzales can be reached at 352 860-7312 or Times staff writer Richard Raeke contributed to this report.

[Last modified March 9, 2004, 01:35:32]

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