( Reuters ) - The father of Australian actor Heath Ledger was due to arrive in New York on Friday to claim the body of the 28-year-old actor whose sudden death this week remains a mystery, the New York Daily News reported.
Kim Ledger spoke to reporters in Australia the day after his son's death, asking for privacy to let his family grieve. He has not reappeared before cameras since.
"He wants to be with his son," Dominic Carella, director of New York City's Frank E. Campbell funeral home where Ledger's body was taken, told the Daily News.
Kim Ledger and actress Michelle Williams, the mother of Ledger's 2-year-old daughter Matilda, were among those expected at a private viewing before the family takes Ledger's body back to his hometown of Perth in Western Australia, the paper said.
The funeral home and the Australian consulate in New York declined to comment on Friday, saying it was a private matter.
Dozens of photographers have gathered outside the funeral parlor since Thursday.
So far there has been no sign of Ledger's family or Williams, who starred with Ledger in " Brokeback Mountain" for which the actor received an Oscar nomination for his powerful portrayal of a gay cowboy.
The couple split up last September and Ledger moved to an apartment in the SoHo area of Manhattan where his naked body was found on Tuesday, face down under the covers of his bed with sleeping pills and other prescription medication nearby.
Police said there was no suicide note and no evidence of foul play. An autopsy conducted on Wednesday proved inconclusive and further test results are expected within two weeks.
Ledger's body was discovered by a masseuse who went to his apartment for an appointment. The masseuse called Hollywood actress Mary-Kate Olsen, a friend of Ledger's, who summoned private security guards, before ringing emergency services.
Ledger told the New York Times in November he had trouble sleeping due to the stress of his work on two recent films and was taking sleeping pills.
Close friend and model Sophie Ward, whose supermodel sister Gemma Ward was romantically linked by the media to Ledger, told Australian media that Ledger was edgy and anxious during his Christmas holidays in Perth about not seeing his daughter.
"He was clean and wasn't drinking any alcohol or taking drugs," Ward told The West Australian newspaper on Thursday.