JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- Jaunita Forman-Lee is the grandmother of Kevin Wilkes.
"My grandson was wonderful," she said. "He was a loved person."
Wilkes was autistic and mentally challenged. During the summer of 2016, he died a horrible death while in a home for mentally challenged adults. The suspect was another client in the same facility, Freddie Williams.
"It was awful," she said.
The police report said Williams, another mentally challenged client, sat on Wilkes and suffocated him.
"I was appalled because I had entrusted him in a home that knew he was being abused," Lee said. "They never told us that they knew Freddie had attacked him several times."
Wilkes was uninsured and because he was the victim of a crime, the family turned to the state's Victim Compensation Fund for help in burial services.
The Justice Coalition, a non-profit advocacy group, helped the family with the application and got it approved.
"They promised to pay," Lee said.
During September 2017, Lee discovered the state did not pay the funeral services bill.
"It fell through the cracks, that's what they're saying," she said.
It apparently fell so far through the cracks that the bill has been turned over to a collection agency.
"The debt collection agency is on me to pay this money," Lee said. "I don't think it is fair, I did everything right."
She said as she reflects, she is having to relive what she experienced in 2016.
"It is like my family is being victimized again because somebody is not doing their job,' Lee said.
The Jacksonville grandmother said she wants to remember her grandson for how he lived, not for how he died.
"It is unfair," she said. "It is tearing me apart. It is all I can think about."
Her grandson was cremated. Lee keeps the urn with his cremains in plain sight on her bookshelf.
The services cost $2,221. She thought the bill was paid for and now discovered it is still not resolved. She said the state needs to keep its promise.
"They need to pay," Lee said. "They need to honor their word. This is our state government."
The Victim Compensation Fund operates under the Florida Attorney General's office.
On Your Side contacted the AG and was told the problem is not with the state, but with the cremation service.
This is the statement from the state:
" Our office has been in contact with the National Cremation and Burial Society to notify the crematorium that they must be registered with the Florida Department of Financial Services before our office can issue payment.
Our office has been reaching out to the crematorium for more than a year to request they complete the registration and to give instructions on how to register.We were just notified on Jan. 16, 2018, by the crematorium, that they are now registered. The $2,221 payment is currently in the verification process. We expect this matter to be resolved soon."