Mexican singer Jose Jose is shown here in 2004 accompanied by his children Jose Joel (right) and Marysol Sosa (left), who have voiced anger over their father's apparently missing body. — AFP/VNA Photo
MIAMI — The missing corpse of the late Mexican troubadour Jose Jose remained on Tuesday the central plot of a bizarre reality telenovela that's seen family feuding over the mysterious whereabouts of his remains.
The Prince of Song – a superstar crooner specialising in matters of the (broken) heart, whose larger-than-life status rivaled the likes of Elvis and Frank Sinatra in Latin America – died on Saturday at age 71 outside Miami, according to the Mexican government.
Shortly thereafter, the two oldest children of the singer born Jose Romulo Sosa Ortiz accused their younger half-sister and her mother of hiding his body.
"The only thing the family wants is to say goodbye to Jose Jose," Jose Joel told reporters on Tuesday outside a funeral home in Miami where he thought the body might be, accompanied by his tearful sister Marysol Sosa. The pair's mother was the second of the legend's three wives.
He urged an autopsy, saying they desired "to take him to Mexico for a tribute, as he deserves".
But though Jose Joel began with a calm "we come in peace", the son's indignation grew increasingly operatic as he repeated allegations that his half-sister Sarita Sosa, 25 – the daughter of Jose Jose's third marriage – had concealed the whereabouts of the body and was "after the money".
Jose Joel said Sarita Sosa – who has the rights to her father's songs – spends her days doing little but "putting on make-up" and "straightening her hair".
The son voiced confusion over Sarita Sosa's decision to take her "malnourished" and "dehydrated" father from Mexico to Miami as he suffered from pancreatic cancer.
"We do not know if there is a will," he told reporters. "That will be another sewer that we will open when the time comes."
Through tears Marysol Sosa vowed: "I will not leave here without seeing my father's body; without knowing the causes of his death and knowing the conditions in which he passed."
The three siblings are scheduled to meet for the first time since his death tonight at 7:00pm (2300 GMT) at the Mexican consulate in Miami.
But Sarita Sosa has already postponed the meeting several times, which the other siblings, who have hired a lawyer, fear will happen again.
"We can do this the easy way or the hard way," Jose Joel warned.
With his velvety voice and songs for jilted lovers, Jose Jose sold more than 120 million albums in a career spanning over five decades.
The balladeer was a media darling eager to publicly open up concerning his personal life, including his romances and struggles with alcoholism.
Elvis-esque rumours – is he REALLY dead? – have swirled among emotional fans in his native Mexico, who Sarita Sosa had promised will have a chance to bid him adieu.
"We promise you will be able to hold a wake for him," she told the "people of Mexico" in a statement published on the Instagram account of a Univision entertainment news program El Gordo y La Flaca.
She has appealed for family unity and blamed US regulations on handling remains for the confusion surrounding her father's body. — AFP