Megan Kimbrough, 26, died three months after she was doused in gasoline and lit on fire last August

LAKELAND, Fla. - It's been one year since Teddy Lawhorn's daughter was burned alive in Lakeland.  Still, the emotional pain of her three month fight to survive and subsequent passing remains raw.

"A year later, it is still tough," said Lawhorn via Skype from his Indiana home.  "It'll be tough ten years from now."

Megan Kimbrough, 26, was doused in gasoline and lit on fire inside the Lakeland home she shared with her husband, according to authorities in Polk County. 

Police say Joshua Kimbrough barricaded Megan in the home after lighting her on fire.  However, Megan was finally able to run out the front door and into the street where neighbors threw blankets on her to put out the flames.

Megan was burned over 80 percent of her body.

Lawhorn took pictures of his daughter's injuries.  He says those images now haunt him.

"I still see that burn to her face.  I see that a lot," Lawhorn said while choking back tears.

Airlifted to the burn unit, doctors did not think Megan would survive the night.


Megan would undergo more than 12 skin graft surgeries over the next three months.  During those surgeries, skin grafts the size of a postage stamp were used.

Changing Megan's bandages each day was a four hour process.  She remained in a medically induced coma for a majority of the time, but did briefly regain consciousness.

Family members say Megan died of an infection on November 10, 2012, with her mother by her side.

"That's all it is was was a fight.  She done what she could," Lawhorn added.

Megan is survived by a young son.  The boy was taken away from Megan and Kimbrough, the boy's biological father, when the two began abusing drugs.


Domestic violence and burn survivor, Audrey Mabrey pledged to stay by Megan's side through recovery.  She has remained close friends with Megan's mother following her death.

Mabrey, who heard Megan's story on the news, stepped up and visited Megan at the hospital.

Mabrey was in the process of divorcing her husband, Christopher Hanney, in November 2009 when he attacked her in their Apollo Beach home.  Hanney grabbed Mabrey, took her to the garage, beat her with a hammer, doused her with gasoline and then set her on fire after throwing a lit candle at her.

Hanney was later found guilty of attempted murder, aggravated battery and arson

When Mabrey first visited Megan in the hospital, she started a fund and raised thousands of dollars to put towards Megan's mounting medical bills.

Mabrey was unable to offer comment.  She is currently out of state undergoing a medical procedure.


Prosecutors announced in December they are seeking the death penalty for Joshua Kimbrough.

"He took a life.  His life should be took," Lawhorn said.

A jury indicted him for first-degree murder in last November.   He was initially charged with attempted murder but the charges were upped after Megan died.  

Police say after lighting his wife on fire, Kimbrough took off running from their Stella Avenue home and went on a crime spree.   According to police, Kimbrough carjacked a family at gunpoint outside of a convenience store on East Memorial Boulevard.

Kimbrough was also caught on surveillance tape inside the convenience store shirtless and on the phone.  Police say he stole a t-shirt from the store.

Polk County State Attorney spokesperson Brian Haas told ABC Action News on Friday that the case is not set for trial.  However, attorneys have been taking depositions from witnesses, Haas said.

Court records also say Kimbrough stole a license plate and took credit cards from a home he decided to burglarize.  Kimbrough was found hiding under a mobile home a day later after he allegedly crashed the stolen van into a swamp.

Kimbrough is also facing attempted kidnapping, armed carjacking with a firearm, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, fraud, petit theft and resisting arrest charges.

He reportedly told police he did not remember committing any crimes because he was high on drugs.  At his first appearance, upon being told Megan was not expected to survive, Kimbrough told the judge, "I am done with this [expletive] show."

Kimbrough is slated to be back in court on September 12 for a status hearing.

ABC Action News has requested an interview with Kimbrough but he has declined comment.

Lawhorn said he plans on attending Kimbrough's trial.  He also said he wants to show him the gruesome photos of Megan.

"Her eyes are literally bulging out of her head.  Her lips are completely swelled up," Lawhorn said.

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