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Carradine family takes action on Thai Rath scene photo

LOS ANGELES - David Carradine's family members,dissatisfied with Thai investigators and "profoundly disturbed"by the publication of a forensics photo in a Bangkok tabloid, areseeking help from the FBI and an independent pathologist and havethreatened legal action against any media outlet that reprintsimages of the actor in death.

See photos of David Carradine through the years.

See photos of celebrity deaths that shocked us.

Keith Carradine has filed reports with the FBI that could leadto the agency's involvement, said Mark Geragos, attorney for the"Kung Fu" actor's half-brother. The FBI confirmed thatCarradine's family had contacted the agency.

The family will also seek an independent autopsy by famedforensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to determine whether anotherperson could have been involved, Geragos said. Results of anautopsy performed Friday in Bangkok were not expected for at leastthree weeks.

A chambermaid found Carradine's body Thursday at Bangkok'sSwissotel Nai Lert Park Hotel. Thai authorities said they have allbut ruled out foul play, based on surveillance footage andinterviews with hotel staff that indicate no one was in Carradine'sroom before he died, said Col. Somprasong Yenthuam, who is headingthe investigation.

A grainy photo published on the Saturday cover of the tabloidThai Rath shows a naked body suspended from a clothes bar in ahotel closet, hands apparently bound together above the head andfeet on the floor. The face is blacked out and other areas areobscured.

The paper did not indicate the source of the image, but Thaipolice said they believed it was a picture of Carradine's bodytaken by a forensics team.

Keith Carradine said in a statement that the family was"profoundly disturbed by the release in Thailand of photographstaken at the scene of David Carradine's death," and threatenedlegal action against further distribution.

"The family wants it understood that, per attorney MarkGeragos, any persons, publications or media outlets will be fullyprosecuted for invasion of privacy and causing severe emotionaldistress if the photos are published," the statement read.

The actor's family hopes the body will arrive in Los Angeles byMonday, Geragos said, but he did not give specifics.

Geragos said the family decided to intervene because ofconflicting information about Carradine's death and a lack ofdirect information from Thai authorities.

"All we really know is not much more than what the publicknows, and that's disturbing," Geragos said.

Agents were checking with the FBI's legal attache at the U.S.Embassy in Bangkok to see if Thai authorities "are requesting orwould welcome FBI assistance in this matter." FBI spokeswomanLaura Eimiller said the agency generally only gets involved indeath investigations overseas if a crime is suspected.

Investigators initially said Carradine's body was found "naked,hanging in a closet," causing them to suspect he had taken his ownlife. But his family, friends and representatives have said theydoubt the 72-year-old actor would have killed himself.

Police later said the actor may have died from accidentalsuffocation or heart failure after revealing that he was found witha rope tied around his wrist, neck and genitals -- leading tospeculation that Carradine may have engaged in a dangerous form ofsex play known as auto-erotic asphyxiation.

But Geragos said he expects the examination by the NewYork-based Baden, a celebrity among forensic pathologists whofrequently consults on high-profile cases, will clear up manyunanswered questions.

"It's an amazing thing what a good pathologist canaccomplish," Geragos said.

Carradine flew to Thailand last week and began work on a filmtitled "Stretch" two days before his death. His friends andassociates told CNN's Larry King he had a happy marriage, recentlybought a new car, and had several films lined up after he finishedwork in Bangkok.

A martial arts practitioner himself, Carradine was best knownfor the U.S. TV series "Kung Fu," which aired from 1972-75. Heplayed Kwai Chang Caine, an orphan who was raised by Shaolin monksand fled China for the American West after killing the emperor'snephew in retaliation for the murder of his kung fu master.

Carradine also appeared in more than 100 feature films with suchdirectors as Martin Scorsese, Ingmar Bergman and Hal Ashby. Hereturned to the top in recent years as the title character inQuentin Tarantino's two-part saga "Kill Bill."

Funeral arrangements have not been announced.

See photos of David Carradine through the years.

See photos of celebrity deaths that shocked us.


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