The body of Coretta Scott King - the widow of slain U.S. civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. - has arrived back in the city where she lived, Atlanta, in the southern state of Georgia.

Police cars early Wednesday escorted a hearse carrying her body to a funeral home. Local reports say funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

Mrs. King died early Tuesday at an alternative medicine clinic in Mexico. Doctors say the 78-year-old was battling ovarian cancer and ultimately died of respiratory failure.

The death of the woman known as the "first lady of the civil rights movement" brought expressions of sadness as well as tributes from civil rights advocates, politicians and religious leaders.

Mrs. King carried on her husband's work after his assassination, creating the Martin Luther King Jr. Center For Non-Violent Social Change in Atlanta.