NEWARK, N.J. - (AP) - Whitney Houston's body was headed home to New Jersey late Monday for a funeral to be held at week's end, said two people who have spoken with her family.
The two people spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak for the family and because funeral arrangements hadn't been completed. Houston's family raised the possibility of holding a wake Thursday and a funeral Friday at Newark's Prudential Center, which hosts college and professional sporting events and seats about 18,000 people. City officials were awaiting the family's arrival to complete the funeral planning.A picture of Houston appeared Monday night on the electronic board outside the arena, one of the nation's busiest entertainment venues, with a New Jersey Devils game Friday night posing a logistical challenge to a planned funeral that day.Several officials familiar with funeral planning say arrangements are being made by Newark's Whigham Funeral Home, which handled the 2003 funeral of Houston's father. They spoke to the AP on Monday on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to speak for Houston's family. The 48-year-old pop star was found dead in a bathtub in her suite at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in California on Saturday, hours before she was supposed to appear at a pre-Grammy Awards gala. Funeral arrangements were being made by Newark's Whigham Funeral Home, which handled the 2003 funeral of Houston's father, John Houston, according to the two people who spoke to the AP. A woman at the funeral home, where several police officers were stationed, said she could neither confirm nor deny reports that it would handle the arrangements. A white tent was set up leading into the funeral home's rear entrance, and two opulent golden sarcophaguses stood at the front entrance.