Couple awarded $8 million after daughter's body vanishes from fu - KPTV - FOX 12

Couple awarded $8 million after daughter's body vanishes from funeral home

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Julie Mott (Source: Mott Family, KSAT via CNN) Julie Mott (Source: Mott Family, KSAT via CNN)

(KSAT/CNN/Meredith) -- A Texas jury has awarded $8 million to a San Antonio couple after their daughter’s body disappeared from a funeral home more than two years ago.

Sharlotte and Timothy Mott filed a lawsuit against Mission Park Funeral Chapels and Cemeteries, alleging gross negligence.

On Aug. 8, 2015, the couple held a funeral for their 25-year-old daughter, Julie Mott, who died after a lifelong battle with cystic fibrosis. She was to be cremated after the memorial service, but the next day employees discovered her body missing from a damaged casket at the funeral home.

Alex Katzman, one of the lawyers representing the Mott family, argued that Mission Park had inadequate security and its employees lacked proper training. 

“They failed miserably,” Katzman said during closing arguments on Tuesday. “They broke their promise to provide care, control and custody of Julie Mott’s body.”

Rick Reyna, the lead attorney for Mission Park, said the body was stolen and it “was something the funeral home could never have anticipated.”

Reyna said that "Bill Wilburn (Mott's ex-boyfriend) stole the body" because he "obsessed by Julie and opposed to cremation."

Wilburn was questioned by police as a person of interest but has not been charged. 

Following a three-week trial in the civil lawsuit, Mark Greenwald, another attorney on the family’s legal team, said his clients are satisfied with the verdict.

 “This isn’t about money,” Greenwald said. “The amount of money isn't going to return the body of their daughter. And that's just a fact. That's the sad fact."

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