The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark The Legal Examiner Mark search twitter facebook feed linkedin instagram google-plus avvo phone envelope checkmark mail-reply spinner error close
Skip to main content

Jessica Lunsford’s brutal and tragic death made national news. The nine-year-old girl was kidnapped from her home on February 23, 2005. Three weeks later, following a massive search, authorities discovered her body in a grave located about 150 yards from her home. She had been kidnapped, raped and buried alive.

John Couey, a registered sex offender, was sentenced to death last year for her murder.

Just over three years later, Jessica’s parents are planning to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office, over allegations of neglect.

The agencies’ negligence “directly and indirectly led to the death of Jessica Lunsford,” read the intent-to-sue letter sent a day earlier by Lunsford and his ex-wife, Angela Wright.

At the news conference, Lunsford deflected questions about his motivations for suing. In an interview afterward, he offered only a veiled criticism of the sheriff’s handling of the case.

“We thank people everyday of our lives for the things they’ve done for us,” he said. But “then we learn … and we make more changes because sometimes we learn more than we need to know.”

Those people close to the case believe the lawsuit will likely include two core issues: whether or not authorities adequately tracked Couey, a registered sex offender, before Jessica’s disappearance.

Also, how authorities could have missed Jessica, if she was alive inside Couey’s residence for days while officials investigated the area and surrounding homes.

Comments are closed.

Of Interest