Whitney Houston’s body has been transported to New Jersey where plans are underway to memorialize the pop superstar later this week in the city where she was born.
A wake is planned for Thursday and a funeral set for Friday at the 18,000-seat Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., a source close to the arena told NBC New York.
The Garden State venue showed Houston’s face in lights Monday night as a tribute to the singer, who was found dead in a hotel room in Los Angeles Saturday.
Complete Coverage: “Whitney Houston: 1963-2012”
On Monday, the Los Angeles County coroner’s office and Beverly Hills police department released new details about the circumstances of Houston’s death.
Lt. Mark Rosen, of the Beverly Hills Police Department, said that the pop superstar was discovered “underwater and apparently unconscious” in the tub at the Beverly Hilton.
Prescription pill bottles were found at the scene, but the amount was “less than my medicine cabinet,” L.A. County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told reporters.
Houston’s body was flown to New Jersey by private plane Monday evening. The plane departed from Van Nuys Airport in California at about 3:10 p.m. PST and touched down at Teterboro Airport just after 10:30 p.m. EST.
A police escort will travel with Houston’s body to the Whigham Funeral Home, which is handling the arrangements, sources working with the family told NBC New York.
The seating at Houston’s funeral is expected to be first-come, first-serve, a source told NBC New York. There will likely be a separate area of VIP-reserved seating.
Houston was born in Newark and raised in East Orange. She got her start as a singer in the choir at New Hope Baptist Church in Newark.
Her mother, Grammy award-winning gospel singer Cissy Houston, led the musical program at the 112-year-old church. Whitney’s cousin, singer Dionne Warwick, also sang in its choir.
Mourners have been flocking to the church since the news of her death.
“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,” said Shawn Cooper, 32, as he left an early morning service at the church on Sunday.
With an autopsy complete on the body of the pop queen, officials with the coroner’s office have said it might be weeks before they are ready to announce an official cause of death.
It could be several weeks until they have the results of necessary toxicology tests, which many feared could reveal the drug addiction Houston battled in recent years had contributed to her death.