At the time of his death, Shelby had filed for divorce from his most recent wife, Cleo Shelby, whom he’d married in 1997. Despite the pending divorce, Cleo claims she has the right to Carroll Shelby’s remains.
As The Detroit News points out, Shelby’s children aren’t happy about that, since it reportedly goes counter to Shelby’s own wishes. His children have filed suit for control of their father’s remains, as well as the cost of legal fees to recover the body.
In 2008, Carroll Shelby allegedly signed a document empowering his eldest son, Michael, to make funeral plans and distribute Shelby’s cremated remains between his children and a family plot in Leesburg, Texas.
Cleo disputes this document, claiming that Carroll Shelby was incapable of signing the document on the date indicated, despite the presence (and signatures) of four witnesses and a notary.
Instead, she’s citing a 2010 power of attorney document that left her in charge of Shelby’s healthcare needs, which supersedes any previous power of attorney documents related to healthcare.
Which side is right, and who ultimately gets Carroll Shelby’s body, is up to a Texas court to decide. Nothing can happen until the final results of Shelby’s autopsy are released, so a hearing date has yet to be set.
Meantime, Carroll Shelby lies in a Dallas County morgue. As controversial as Shelby may have been in his lifetime, it’s sadly ironic that he remains so even after death.