family evaded scores of photographers Tuesday as they
returned to Perth following the Oscar-nominated actor's
death in his New York City apartment last month.
guards and police officers watched as Ledger's father,
Kim, and several other relatives emerged from their plane
after other passengers had disembarked.
Kim Ledger didn't
answer reporters' questions as the entourage quickly
entered an elevator in the airport terminal. Local media
reported family members were driven across the tarmac
and out of the airport, evading the press pack that
had gathered in the arrival hall.
There was no
immediate indication that Heath Ledger's body or remains had
Ledger's U.S.-based publicist, has said the family wants to
keep funeral arrangements private, and Michelle Williams,
the mother of his 2-year-old daughter, Matilda, has
requested privacy for those in mourning.
The family will
reportedly hold a private ceremony and either bury
Ledger's remains or have them cremated and interred at the
family's plot at a cemetery in Perth, where two of his
grandparents were laid to rest. The timing of the
funeral is unclear.
Ledger, who was
nominated for an Oscar for his role in Brokeback
Mountain, died in his Manhattan apartment January
22. He was 28. Police said several prescription drugs
were found in the apartment where his body was found. Today
the New York City medical examiner ruled his death the
result of an accidental overdose.
hometown prepared for his funeral, residents of this idyllic
and isolated city on the southwest coast of Australia
expressed sadness at his sudden death, and outrage at
rumors that he was a drug user.
''If a person
dies, let him go in peace. All this rubbish they bring up
about drugs and everything else, I think it's a lot of
rubbish,'' said Margaret Byrne, a 58-year-old catering
supervisor at Royal Perth Hospital.
Much of that
speculation was fueled by video footage showing Ledger at a
Hollywood hotel party where drugs were being taken two years
Ledger was a
source of pride for Perth, a coastal metropolitan area of
some 1.5 million that lies on the edge of Australia's vast
Outback and is over 2,700 miles from another major
the biggest news we've had in Perth in a long time,''
said Shannon Harvey, film critic at The Sunday
Times. ''He's probably the highest-profile star who's
ever come out of Perth.'' (AP)