© 2023 90.7 WMFE. All Rights Reserved.
Public Media News for Central Florida
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

After her Daughter’s Case is Mismanaged by Volusia County Medical Examiner’s Office, a Mother Fights for Justice

Danielle Pratt, Justis Garrett's mother, holds her photo: Justis went missing in April. Photo: Danielle Prieur

There are two things Danielle Pratt hasn’t stopped doing since her 16 year-old daughter Justis Garrett went missing on April 13th. She hasn’t stopped trying to find out what happened to her daughter and she hasn’t stopped wearing her shoes.

“She used to hate me wearing these shoes she said I scuffed them up. If she’s gonna talk through me. I’m wearing them. I wore her shoes every interview, meeting. I wore her shoes every time.”

[caption id="attachment_89221" align="aligncenter" width="400"]

Her mother wears her shoes now as she searches for answers. She still doesn't know when or how her daughter died. Photo: Danielle Prieur[/caption]
Joggers found a female’s body five days after Justis went missing. Pratt called the Deland Police Department to ask if it was her daughter and was told it wasn’t. But it was her daughter and Justis lay unidentified in the Volusia County Morgue for a month before the Florida Department of Law Enforcement took over her case.

On May 7th, Florida Department of Law Enforcement was able to use DNA analysis to confirm Pratt’s worst fears: it was Justis’ body.

Now, Pratt is fighting so the same thing doesn’t happen to other families who have missing loved ones.

If you'd like to listen to the full story, please click on the clip above.

Danielle Prieur is WMFE's education reporter.
90.7 WMFE relies on donors like you. Your support allows us to provide independent, trustworthy journalism and fact-based content. Show your support today by contributing on a monthly basis or making a single online donation.