Michael Jackson voluntarily gave a DNA sample to authorities, returning to his Neverland Ranch estate a day after he left during a search by sheriff's deputies, a source close to the case said today (

Michael Jackson voluntarily gave a DNA sample to authorities, returning to his Neverland Ranch estate a day after he left during a search by sheriff's deputies, a source close to the case said today (Dec. 5). When Santa Barbara (Calif.) County sheriff's deputies arrived with search warrants Friday, his lawyer instructed him to leave and take his children with him.

Jackson's attorney, Thomas Mesereau, flew by helicopter from Los Angeles to Jackson's ranch in Los Olivos, 100 miles northwest, when he heard the search warrant had been served, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

On Saturday, when the deputies returned, they asked for a DNA sample and Jackson returned by car to the estate and supplied the sample voluntarily. Authorities had never before asked for a DNA sample, the source said. A cotton swab was used to collect the sample from Jackson's mouth.

It wasn't immediately clear how authorities planned to use the DNA in Jackson's child molestation case. Also while at Jackson's ranch, sheriff's investigators measured rooms, trying to establish the sight lines from one room to another, the source said.

The 46-year-old entertainer has pleaded not guilty to charges of child molestation, conspiracy and administering an intoxicating agent, alcohol, to his alleged victim. He is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 31.

Tomorrow is the deadline for prosecutors and defense lawyers to complete the case's discovery process, in which both sides exchange evidence they have gathered during pretrial investigations.


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