Closing arguments have concluded in a civil trial involving the disappearance of a woman's body from a San Antonio funeral home.
The jury deliberated Tuesday afternoon to determine whether the parents of 25-year-old Julie Moss should be financially compensated for the loss of their daughter's body at Mission Park Funeral Chapels & Cemeteries.
Their lawyer said Tuesday that they proposed that Timothy and Sharlotte Mott, Julie's parents, each should be compensated $2.5 million for past mental anguish and an additional $2.5 million each for future mental anguish, for a total of $10 million. However, the jury chose to compensate the parents $1.5 million for past mental anguish and $2.5 million for future mental anguish, for a total of $8 million.
Mott family lawyer Alex Katzman spoke to KENS 5 after the decision was made. "We trust our loved ones to a funeral home, there's a high duty they are held to, and it's their job to protect that body," he said.
Mott’s body went missing from the Cherry Ridge facility two years ago. Julie’s parents and her older brother, Jonathan, took the stand last week, all fighting back tears as they testified about Julie’s body disappearing.
The Motts were suing Dick and Kristin Tips, Mission Park's owners. Julie Mott died in August 2015 from Cystic Fibrosis. Her body disappeared from the Cherry Ridge facility the day after the funeral.
Attorney Mark Greenwald, and longtime friend of the family, knew Julie personally.
"We really thought, when we started this case, that we would know more," he said. "Today is bittersweet... we still want to know what happened... Julie Mott is a wonderfully kid, and she deserves better."
At first, the Motts believed Julie’s ex-boyfriend may have had something to do with the disappearance. The funeral home owners offered a $20,000 reward for any information leading to the body, but it was never found, and no one has ever been charged in connection with its disappearance.
Dick Tips testified earlier in the trial that the security code for the funeral facility hadn’t been changed in 20 years and almost two dozen employees knew the code and had access to the facility.