Jessica Lunsford was killed in 2005 by a registered sex offender living about 100 yards from her home. John Couey was convicted of killing her and has been sentanced to death. He claims he held the girl captive for days in his bedroom closet before killing her. Mark Lunsford feels the sheriff’s office did not do enough to find his daughter. He is now planning to sue the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office in order to force them to change their procedures.
They also said sheriff’s deputies twice visited Couey’s half-sister’s mobile home on both Feb. 24 and Feb. 25 but failed to ask if they could search inside. They said suspicious behavior from one housemate – who was “visibly trembling” and had been peering through the blinds while law officers searched the premises – should have indicated that something inside was amiss.
“It’s pretty elementary. You search the inside of these homes, or at least ask to search the inside of these houses,” Gelman said.
Mark Lunsford says he is not suing for the money which would be limited to $100,000 by state law. He is just trying get the sheriff’s department to admit to mishandling the case and change policies. The sheriff’s department defends their handling of the case and says that Jessica was killed within hours of being kidnapped from her bedroom.