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Family sues Florida funeral home for allegedly posting photo of daughter's dead body on social media

Posted at 1:02 PM, Jul 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-19 13:06:49-04

A Florida family is suing a funeral home for allegedly posting a photo of their daughter's dead body on social media as it was being prepped for her funeral.

Jakiel Jones, 27, died on Jan. 18 after she was struck by a car while crossing the street, ABC West Palm Beach affiliate WPBF reported.

Four days later, a staff member from the Steven Brothers Funeral Home in West Palm Beach allegedly posted a photo showing Jones partially clothed on a mortuary slab to the funeral home's social media, her mother, Deanna Washington said in a press conference on Wednesday.

The lawsuit, filed in Palm Beach County on Tuesday, alleges the funeral home's duty to use reasonable care in protecting Jones' remains, which included treating them "with dignity," was breached when the photo was allegedly posted online. It is unclear how long the alleged photo remained public before it was taken down.

Washington said she was alerted to the photo by a friend.

“To think that you’re hiring a funeral home, you trust your loved one with, and to have something like this happen, it’s a tragedy," Washington said. "I couldn't see who could stand over a dead person's body and take a picture of them to do wrong with. Nothing good. You took my daughter's picture and you did wrong with it."

The family's attorney, Nicole Hunt Jackson, accused the funeral home of violating the family's trust "when they were the most vulnerable," she told ABC News.


"All this lawsuit is about a violation of trust and basic dignity and respect, so no amount of compensation can bring the family back to what they were exposed to," Jackson said at the press conference.

The family is seeking a jury trial and $15,000 in excessive damages plus costs incurred.

"I don't want any family to ever have to experience what we experienced," Washington said.

The owner of the funeral home, Anthony May, told WPBF that his business will cooperate with any investigation.

"If a staff member has done anything malicious against any family, that person is definitely going to be terminated," he said.

A staff member for the funeral home hung up on ABC News when asked for comment.