Family Sues Funeral Home For Allegedly Leaking Pictures Of Daughter’s Disfigured Body
A Florida family had to relive the trauma of losing their child for all of social media to see and now they’re taking action.
According to The Palm Beach Post, Deanna Washington and her family were devastated when their 27-year-old daughter Jakiel Allyson Jones was killed in a car accident. The family said Jones was so disfigured, that they were planning a closed casket funeral.
However, their plans were ruined when on February 2, the day of the funeral, a photo of Jones’ body showed up on Facebook, according to her parents’ lawsuit.
Washington and her ex-husband, Jessie Jones, say a Stevens Brothers Funeral Home employee took the pictures and gave them to “non-family members.” The lawsuit says the photos were then posted to Facebook. The funeral home and an “unknown defendant” are listed in the suit, with the family saying the funeral home was the only group who had access to Jones’ body at the time the picture was taken.
“I would never wish this on a family of anyone, because it’s very heartbreaking,” Jessie Jones said at a press conference.
The president of the funeral home, Tony Mack II, said he didn’t believe any employees took the pics, however, if proof arises, he said the person responsible would be fired and might face legal action.
“It truly hurts me,” said Mack, who says he’s a longtime friend of Washington and went to school with her at Twin Lakes High School. “We will continue to pray for the family, and pray for a swift resolution, so all the facts will come out.”
On the day of the funeral, Washington said a friend phoned her about the image, which showed Jakiel on a slab in the funeral home’s preparation room, wearing a royal blue shirt with her hair tied back. Washington said she went online to witness the picture, which was later deleted.
“They violated our trust at a time when we needed them the most,” Washington tearfully said. When she was asked how she can get over the incident, she said, “I can’t.”
The state said Stevens Brothers’ license is currently under investigation, especially for prior instances of mishandling paperwork and even the mishandling of dead human remains.