Mark Lunsford, Father of Murdered Jessica Lunsford Plan to Sue Citrus County Sheriff’s Office


The parents of 9 year old murdered Jessica Lunsford, Mark Lunsford and Angela Wright, plan to sue the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office for negligence in the handling of the case. Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped, raped and murdered only after being buried alive by a sex offender, John Couey.


The notice claims the sheriff’s office, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Citrus County Board of County Commissioners were negligent during the investigation into the girl’s disappearance and alleges that such negligence possibly contributed to her death, according to

Jessica was murdered by John Couey in 2005. It took a month for authorities to find her body. Couey was sentenced to death last year for the gruesome killing.

“I know you have a lot of questions, and you deserve the answers, and so does the public,” Mark Lunsford told reporters outside his home Thursday. (FOX News)

The reaction by the attorneys of Citrus County is not shocking. What are they Mark_Lunsford_andjessicagoing to say but they are surprised and the suit is baseless.  The fact that law enforcement never searched the residence where Couey was staying is irrelevant I guess. While the parents of murdered Jessica Lunsford are suing, maybe they might want to include the prosecutors office as well for not bring conspiracy murder charges against the rest of the individuals who were at the residence where John Couey raped and murdered Jessica.

At a news conference just before Lunsford’s, Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said he was surprised by the lawsuit.

“I was surprised and disappointed,” he said. “We truly believe that this litigation is baseless. There is nothing there. A lot of you followed this case and saw the efforts put forth by the men and women of this organization, the Florida Department of Law enforcement, FBI and countless other agencies. And I think everybody in my family at the Citrus County Sheriff’s Office and also my community have to know that Commissioner Bailey [FDLE] and I are going to vigorously defend our agencies against this baseless allegation made by the Lunsfords that we failed to do our job.”

Time Line of Jessica Lundsford Kidnapping to Conviction of Couey

Lunsford Prepares To Sue Sheriff’s Office

Lunsford refuses to talk about lawsuit

Well its always the fault of the convicted felon, however, knowing now that Jessica was alive for a period of time following the kidnapping, Police do have some explaining.

Dawsy calls the litigation baseless and says if anyone’s to blame for Jessica’s death, it’s John Couey.

“John Couey abducted her, sexually assaulted her, murdered her by burying her alive. We found him, we convicted him and we had him sentenced to death. He’ll never hurt another child.”


If you liked this post, you may also like these:

  • Texas Governor Signed Jessica’s Law: Child Sex Predators, Don’t Mess with Texas
  • Mark Lunsford, the Father of Murdered Jessica Lunsford Reveals He is a Dad … Mark Has a Miracle Baby Boy
  • Jessica Lunsford: Mark Lunsford To John Evander Couey, “I hope you hear her cry as you try to sleep at night.”
  • Mark Lunsford … HERO! A Parent Living the Worst Nightmare … Jessica Lunsford’s Legacy will help Children for Years to Come
  • GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY: Sex Offender John Couey Found Guilty in Jessica Lunsford Murder

  • Comments

    15 Responses to “Mark Lunsford, Father of Murdered Jessica Lunsford Plan to Sue Citrus County Sheriff’s Office”

    1. cbtampa on February 23rd, 2008 11:52 am

      I agree with Mark. I personally would like to know the other occupants of Couey’s resident were not charged. There is no way that you could hide a child in a single wide moble home, without someone else knowing. Maybe this will bring some answers.

    2. Kat_Gram on February 23rd, 2008 1:36 pm

      Well, I was wondering how long it was going to take for Mark to do this. And so he should. Just from memory, there were a couple of things that did not sit well with me in regards to the sheriff and his staff. First, the fact that they went to the trailer and took those scum bags word for anything while Jessica was still alive and in the trailer. Couey’s IQ was borderline at best. Did he single handedly out smart law enforcement ? Looks like it.
      Another thing, the sherrif released information that Ruth Lunsford had a couple of things that didn’t go well in the lie detector she took.
      Archie had a mix up with picking his other kids up at school what / 40 years ? earlier and that was also released to the media for some of their sinister implications.
      Go for it Mark.
      I still have a bracelet for Jessie.
      This particular case, well, I almost went down in my kitchen when I heard the news that she had been found and where. And all the rest of the details.
      Mark has to live the rest of his life with this, the loss of his daughter. He must be asking himself WHY WHY WHY 24/7 ? I ask myself that question whenever I see Mark in any type of media. And I never met any of them. Go for it, get the money, maybe the LE people everywhere will become afraid of the settlement and smarten up.
      Mark has done alot of good since the death of his daughter and he is still be a hero regardless of any pending lawsuit.
      My love and prayers to Mark,Angela,Ruth,Archie and the rest of the family.
      from: far away in Canada…

    3. Richard on February 23rd, 2008 1:44 pm

      This crime happened in 2005. The animal (Couey) was sentenced to being put down (I won’t say executed, because that’s a word used for human beings. This animal is an animal, pure and simple.) last year.

      Why on God’s earth hasn’t this been done yet?
      What an emblem of shame on our “court” system.

      Incidentally, some people may think that labeling Couey an animal gives too much decency. I agree, but can’t think of anything else to say … at least, nothing else that could be printed.

    4. txchic on February 23rd, 2008 3:40 pm

      didn’t jessica’s grandmother help raise this child? i only wonder why she’s not listed in the suit?
      SM: Because she was not the legal guardian. Actually, Mark Lundford had custody of Jessica. The only ones listed on the suit are the biological parents. (klaasend)

    5. Kat_Gram on February 23rd, 2008 4:27 pm

      I read this and cut / paster an important part: “At his mother’s home Thursday, Lunsford said that people need to keep providing funding for child advocacy centers.

      Asked whether any money from a possible lawsuit would go to fund such a center, he repeated several times: “Advocacy centers need funding.” He would not answer the question directly.

      Lunsford and his former wife, Angela Wright, filed papers in probate court Monday to set up an estate for Jessie. Gelman said that is standard practice when someone is anticipating a wrongful death settlement.”

    6. Kat_Gram on February 23rd, 2008 8:09 pm

      Couey has RIGHTS, Richard.
      No one else did, Jessica, Mark, Ruth,Archie, but now Couey does.
      The pressure needs to be put on our repective lawmakers to keep these types away from us the first time. Why is it when there is a crime of this nature, we read the history of the accused and we all say … should have seen this one coming !
      All the experts say there is no cure for pedophiles, so they are given light sentences and are released and unleashed on society. It should be deeemd an incurable mental illness and the “patients” kept in a hospital until they are cured. Which would be NEVER.

    7. Kat_Gram on February 24th, 2008 11:08 am

      I am posting by myself on this one it seems, but there is a question I would like answered.
      WHY, when the LE went door to door were the dogs not used ? Jessica was pretty close and was alive. Aren’t these searches done in an ever widening circle from the central point of whee the person was last seen ?

    8. brenda on February 25th, 2008 7:29 am

      As a Florida native, understand that NOT telling what you know when being questioned by an officer so long as you are NOT under arrest means nothing at all. NOTHING! You cannot be charged because that is the law (one of those damn “sunshine laws”) of Florida thanks to the libs down there.

      To answer Kat, I remember dogs were brought in and for whatever reason, they were unable to hit on her scent. I cannot explain that.

      As for why the trailer wasn’t searched, please understand (although I don’t like it or agree) in Florida officers MUST have evidence and be able to provide that reason. Just the fact Couey is a convicted child molester did not give that because in the Sun-shine-law state…there must be at LEAST circumstancial evidence. Sadly, there was none.

      I am sad Florida has become so liberal it is not worth living there. I moved away 20+ years ago because it was clear the direction things were moving. Besides, I don’t speak Spanish and don’t care to. In order to get a decent job, you need to have that ability….and to think I believed Florida was part of America? Where did I get that idea???

    9. Pam on February 25th, 2008 2:06 pm

      I feel so bad for Mark Lunsford and his entire family; however, those police officers worked tirelessly to try to find his daughter while working within the law. I am extremely disappointed in Mr. Lunsford for taking this road. Police Officers just can’t win. They are expected to do their job without feeling. They are expected to do things that you and I can only imagine in our nightmares. And then when things don’t go right at the hands of someone else..they are to blame. There is one person and only one person that is to blame for the death of Jessica….that is John Couey. Mr. Lunsford’s anger is misdirected.

    10. Robert on February 25th, 2008 10:15 pm

      Sorry Pam..the police had probable cause to search the residence where Couey was living and should have done so

    11. brenda on February 26th, 2008 7:51 am


      Sorry, but you are incorrect. IF the police had asked to do so and were allowed by the liars who said Couey was not there…then yes, they could have.

      If you know of any probably cause, please let us know because I’ve yet to see any.

      Currently, my husband and I have a no trespass/protective order against a guy here in VA that threatened to kill us (the exact words were “you’ll be leaving your property in a body bag”). Why? Because we refuse to let him hunt our property since it is our right to do so and he not only baits his treestands, but also hunts at night and poaches (meaning hunts) at times of the year he should not be doing so. Sooo, we told him to stay off and changed the locks.

      Soon thereafter, we had about 5 pounds of nails thrown all over the 1 mile road leading into our property AND our adjoining land owner who also told him to stay off had his ATV vandalized. In court, we were not allowed to provide this evidence because (in the district attorney’s words) we were unable to prove it was him. who the hell else would it be? We know, the district attorney knows, the game warden knows (who has been after this guy for baiting tree stands for 3 years) and the county deputy who helped pick up the nails knows since the father of the guy who threatened us has been charged with distruction of property for the SAME thing…spreading nails on another land owner’s property because he was locked out from hunting.

      There is only so much law enforcement can do. Sad, but a solid fact. Had they forced their way in, it would have caused MARK’s case to be damaged since the evidence could well have been questioned by the defense as being “illegally obtained”.

      I do not like how this works, but it is how it does work.

    12. Terri on February 27th, 2008 6:19 am

      What a bunch of b.s. Couey was caught and successfully prosecuted. I did respect Lunsford before. Now his trailer park breeding shows. Greedy idiot.
      SM: So tell us how you really feel? Some parents are allowed justice and answers and others are not?

      The police royally screwed up in this case because of the economic situation that Mark was in. I hardly doubt if he was a rich man and had connections that the case would have been handled the same way.

      The fact that the rest of the scum bags living in the home where Couey was staying is disgusting. Almost as much as your comments.

      Mark Lunsford has done so much for missing children. Kudos.

      Go get ‘em. Make them think again that all children’s cases should be handled the same.

      They have a lot of explaining to do.

    13. brenda on February 27th, 2008 8:48 am

      Dear “R”,

      For the first time you show your true colors of hatred towards police.

      How can you say the police did not handle this case in a different manner because of Mark’s “economic situation”? Seems to me that is accusing the police of only caring for the rich kids.

      Pretty disgusting comment there yourself. I for one do NOT think calling Mark “trailer trash” was very, nice…but your comment towards the police was in equally poor taste.

    14. Char on March 28th, 2008 11:27 pm

      I feel so bad for little Jessica, a case that the grandparents were doing their best! Where was Mark? Now he wants to sue!!!!?

    15. lori on September 3rd, 2009 3:44 pm

      I feel so bad for the whole family and my heart goes out to them all!. Every time I would see Mark cry, I would cry. No one has the right to judge him. I would NEVER want to go through all the pain he went and is still going through! He has did so much to help other children! Then the law officials were trying to blame him and his father!
      To lose a child, especially the way Mark did would be the most horrible thing anyone could ever expierience! My heart goes out to this precious family! And may God help them through it all!

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