Michael Jackson's family are terrified his corpse could be kidnapped.
The family have become increasingly concerned after receiving a series of bizarre notes from fans of the late pop icon - who died of a suspected cardiac arrest last month - and are even concerned crime lords could take his body and demand payment for its return.
A source told National Enquirer magazine: "Michael's mother Katherine is probably living in fear someone will steal his body and thinks there is no place on earth her son can be safe.
"There are fears organised criminals will steal his body and try to hold it for ransom. There are a lot of desperate people out there who believe Michael's corpse would bring a king's ransom."
Although a memorial for Michael took place in Los Angeles' Staples Center on July 7, he is yet to be buried.
The Jackson family are said to be taking the risk so seriously they have enlisted a team of guards to watch over her remains.
Katherine's worry has been compounded by letters from some of Michael's fans, who are struggling to come to terms with their grief.
People have stated they want to "sleep on top of his grave to be close to him", while others have begged for strands of his hair.
There are even concerns hardcore fans could try to get their hands of Michael's body as some kind of trophy.
Another source added: "Michael had a massive following in Latin America. We've heard there's a gang plotting to fly to Los Angeles, steal the body, then take it back to their country and keep it for themselves."