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UPDATE: authorities find Casey Kasem in WA

CNN
Thursday, May 15, 2014 - 9:15am

UPDATE: Days after he left a nursing home, radio icon Casey Kasem was spotted in Washington state -- but his exact location remains unclear.

Kitsap County sheriff's deputies performed a welfare check Tuesday at an address provided by California Adult Protective Services, according to CNN affiliate KOMO.

Authorities found Casey and his wife visiting others at a home. The couple told deputies they were on vacation, sheriff's department spokesman Scott Wilson told the affiliate.

After determining Casey was not in distress and was receiving appropriate care, the deputies left.

"We are grateful to local authorities for finding my Dad. We are one step closer to bringing him home," daughter Kerri Kasem said in a statement Wednesday night.

But the statement added that Kasem's exact location in Washington "is still being determined." Kitsap County authorities have not released the address where they found Kasem.

And the family still has "grave concerns about his medical care," the daughter's representative said in the statement.

"The Kasem family will do everything in their power to bring their father home," Danny Deraney added.

New guardianship

Kasem, 82, is suffering from Lewy body disease -- a common cause of dementia, a spokesman for his daughter told CNN on Tuesday.

On Monday, a judge named Kasem's daughter, Kerri, the temporary conservator until a June 20 hearing.

But she hadn't been able to take on the responsibility without knowing where he was. Kerri Kasem has said she feared her father may have been taken out of the country.

Kerri and her sister, Julie Kasem, told CNN they last visited their father a week ago in the nursing home where he was staying.

When the daughters' attorney, Troy Martin, called the day after the visit to check up on Kasem, he was told by the nursing home that he had been removed overnight, Martin told CNN.

Daughters vs. wife

Julie Kasem and her husband, Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn, filed an earlier conservatorship petition claiming the retired radio host "has been isolated from his daughters, friends and other family" by his wife, Jean Kasem.

"We tried everything to get her to let us see him when she stopped bringing him over to the house," Kerri Kasem told CNN in December. "She had an assistant bring him over to the house so we could see him every weekend. She stopped. My sister went there, knocked on the door, and she was escorted off the property."

But the wife gave a very different take on the ordeal last November.

"These children single-handedly and irreparably shattered the lives of their father, his wife and youngest daughter, the calm of their home and their neighborhood by engaging in uncalled for public demonstrations and personal attacks in the media," she said in court papers, according to CNN affiliate KCBS.

"They are doing so with a professionally orchestrated media and legal campaign that has disgraced their father and vilified their stepmother."

Last year, a judge ruled that Kasem was being well cared for by his wife. The judge denied a request by Kasem's children that a temporary conservator be appointed.

Attempts to contact Jean Kasem's attorney earlier this week were unsuccessful.

Jean Kasem, 60 this year, was an actress with roles in "Ghostbusters" and "Cheers."

Decades of fame

Casey Kasem, who hosted radio music countdown shows "American Top 40" and "Casey's Top 40" for decades, retired in 2009.

Besides the famed countdown shows, Kasem was also the voice of Shaggy in the cartoon "Scooby-Doo" and an announcer for NBC. He was a popular DJ and occasional actor before "American Top 40" began in 1970.

His case has drawn attention to Lewy body dementia -- the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's, according to the Mayo Clinic.

The condition can be hard to diagnose because Parkinson's and Alzheimer's cause similar symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health.

CNN's Greg Morrison, Josh Levs, Jane Caffrey and Alan Duke contributed to this report.


ORIGINAL STORY:  He's a radio icon and onetime voice of a beloved cartoon character. Now 82, Casey Kasem is suffering from Lewy body disease -- a common cause of dementia, a spokesman for his daughter told CNN on Tuesday.

And his children say they don't know where he is.

A family battle has left Kasem's children and a judge worried about his safety.

Judge Daniel Murphy on Monday named Kasem's daughter Kerri the temporary conservator until a June 20 hearing. But she can't take on the responsibility without knowing where he is. And Kerri Kasem says she believes her father's wife "fled the country (or possibly went to an Indian Reservation) with my Dad because she knew I would win in court today," she wrote on Facebook.

"Please pray that he is safe," Kerri Kasem said.

Kerri Kasem last visited her father at a Santa Monica, California, nursing home a week ago, said Danny Deraney, her spokesman.

Casey Kasem was in good spirits during that visit on May 6, even telling his daughter and former wife "I love you," Kerri Kasem and first wife Linda Kasem Naylor told CNN.

When the Kasem daughters' attorney, Troy Martin, called the following day to check up on Casey, he was told by the nursing home that he had been removed overnight, the attorney told CNN.

Murphy has ordered that Casey Kasem's whereabouts be disclosed, Martin said.

After becoming conservator, Kerri Kasem got access to her father's doctors and medical records. That's when she learned that he had Lewy body, rather than Parkinson's disease, Deraney said. Previously, the children had said in court papers that they were told their father had Parkinson's disease.

Lewy body dementia is the second most common type of progressive dementia after Alzheimer's, according to the Mayo Clinic. It can be hard to diagnose because Parkinson's and Alzheimer's cause similar symptoms, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Last year, a judge ruled that Kasem was being well cared for by his wife, Jean Kasem. The judge denied a request by Kasem's children that a temporary conservator be appointed.

Attempts to contact Jean Kasem's attorney Monday and Tuesday were unsuccessful.

Kasem's daughter Julie Kasem and her husband, Dr. Jamil Aboulhosn, filed the previous conservatorship petition, claiming the retired radio host "has been isolated from his daughters, friends and other family" by his wife.

In November, Jean Kasem offered a very different description.

"These children single-handedly and irreparably shattered the lives of their father, his wife and youngest daughter, the calm of their home and their neighborhood by engaging in uncalled for public demonstrations and personal attacks in the media," she said in court papers, according to CNN affiliate KCBS. "They are doing so with a professionally orchestrated media and legal campaign that has disgraced their father and vilified their stepmother."

The children "falsely claim that their stepmother is wicked and is keeping her husband prisoner in his home behind closed doors and that they no longer have access to him through no fault of their own," she added. "... For reasons they know all too well, their presence at this state would be toxic and extremely distressing for Casey, Jean and their daughter, Liberty, who have had enough of their cruelty."

In December, Kerri Kasem told CNN that her stepmother was preventing Kasem's children from visiting their ailing father.

"It's been a very long time. We saw this coming. We weren't blindsided by this," she said at the time. "This is a man we saw every single week, talked to him every single day on the phone until he lost his voice. We are an extremely close knit family, extremely, and his family means more to him than anything,"

"We tried everything to get her to let us see him when she stopped bringing him over to the house. She had an assistant bring him over to the house so we could see him every weekend. She stopped. My sister went there, knocked on the door and she was escorted off the property."

The petition last year said that Julie Kasem and her husband had been unable to check on Kasem's health even though her father signed papers in 2007 giving them the power of attorney over his heath care in the event he was unable to make his own health decisions.

They "have been prevented from exercising their duties" by Jean Kasem, who has been married to the retired radio host for three decades, the filing said.

"There is no communication between Jean and us and his daughters," said brother Mouner Kasem. "We have no knowledge of how he is, what he's doing, if he's better, if he's worse, and we're scared that we'll never see him again."

Casey Kasem, who for decades hosted radio music countdown shows "American Top 40" and "Casey's Top 40," retired in 2009.

Besides the famed countdown shows, Kasem was also the voice of Shaggy in the cartoon "Scooby-Doo" and an announcer for NBC. He was a popular DJ and occasional actor before "American Top 40" began in 1970.

Jean Kasem, 60 this year, was an actress with roles in "Ghostbusters" and "Cheers," according to the Internet Movie Database.

CNN's Alan Duke, Akiko Fujita and Dana Ford contributed to this report.

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