Travoltas Turn to Scientology, Hometown in Trying Times

According to Ocala Mayor Randy Ewers, Travolta and Preston are active and loved members of the community.

"We called and reached out to the family," Ewers told "It's a very sad time for them. If they need anything from us we have offered that. We're just trying to help during this time and help them through this tragedy."

"They frequent the restaurants. John worked out in the local gym. They attended school here, go to the mall," he said. "Any fans that came up to them, they would spend time with them. But people let them live a normal life for the most part."

While it's suspected the Travoltas are planning a funeral service for later this week, Ewers said he was unaware of specific arrangements.

"I don't know of any public memorial planned," he said. "We're trying to respect their privacy as much as possible and help them through this process. They are our friends and neighbors and a fantastic family. It's very tragic."

Marion County residents have left flowers and signs outside the gated entrance to the Travolta family's Jumbolair Aviation Estates neighborhood. Neighbor Rich Koepsel told the local Ocala Star-Banner, "We consider them just normal neighbors. John and Kelly just want to be treated as another family."

He also described a close relationship between the parents and their children. "You could see the love in his parents' eyes," Koepsel told the paper. "You could look in [Jett's] eyes and feel the love there."

He described Jett as a fun-loving kid who enjoyed the outdoors, either riding around in a golf cart, pedaling his three-wheeled bicycled or going for a ride with his father in one of Travolta's antique cars or his ultra-light airplane.

In 2004, the Los Angeles Times reported that Jett and his younger sister Ella were home-schooled in Ocala to keep their education on par with the one they'd received at a Scientology-based school in Los Angeles, where they spent three months of the year.

The Times also said one of the reasons the Travoltas live in Ocala is to be close to the Flag Service Organization in Clearwater, Fla., the spiritual headquarters of Scientology.

Timeline of Travoltas' Tragedy

Monday night, Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston, returned to Florida with the ashes of their son, who died after suffering a seizure Friday while the family vacationed in the Bahamas.

Earlier Monday, two forensic pathologists, including an American physician, performed an autopsy in the Bahamas, but the cause of death was not released.

Glen Campbell, an official with a Bahamian funeral home, told the AP that Jett Travolta's death certificate said he was killed by a "seizure." Campbell said the certificate came from the autopsy findings but revealed no information on the cause of death beyond the word "seizure."

He added that the body was in "great condition" and showed no sign of head trauma. Police officials had said previously the teen may have hit his head on a bathtub.

Travolta family friend Obie Wilchcombe, a member of the Bahamian Parliament, told "Good Morning America" of the heart-wrenching moment when John Travolta identified his son's body at the morgue.

"They escorted him into the room where his son was and glass separated them. And he was asked to identify his son," Wilchcombe told "Good Morning America." "His words were 'That's my son.'"

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