MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT) -- The parents of Mercer Law graduate Lauren Giddings filed a wrongful death lawsuit against their daughter's accused killer, Stephen McDaniel on Monday.
In a 23 page suit, William and Karen Giddings filed a complaint for damages for wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and unlawful interference with right of burial. In the court filings, Giddings' parents stated the reasons for their actions are, "in the interest of pursuing justice for their daughter at every turn and in ensuring that Stephen McDaniel faces judgement to the full extent provided by the law..."
McDaniel is accused of murdering and dismembering Giddings in June 2011. Giddings' torso was found on June 30, 2011 inside a trash can in the parking lot of the Barrister's Hall apartments on Georgia Avenue where she lived. Her torso is the only part of her body that has been recovered to this day.
Hoping to find their daughter's remains, William and Karen asked for permission to search property owned by McDaniel's late grandfather, Hollis Browning. The lawsuit claimed McDaniel visited the 63-acres of woods during Father's Day weekend in 2011 and "surveyed the property for locations where he could scatter dismembered body parts through the woods in accordance with his murder plan."
In an email Lauren's sister Kaitlyn Wheeler said, "My parents and I are dedicated to pursuing every avenue the law allows to seek justice for my sister and find out exactly what happened here. In addition to an opportunity to get answers, a civil judgment against McDaniel will ensure he never profits from what he did to my sister."
McDaniel's attorney Franklin Hogue said civil lawsuits are about money. Hogue said he's done about 70 murder cases and has only seen these types of suits a 'handful of times'. Based on previous cases, clients typically don't have anything left, therefore he has advised, "Don't even answer the complaint."
The multi-million dollar suit is based on the economic value of Lauren's life, which includes the money she would have made practicing as an attorney, but also the loss of her companionship, advice, and love, according to Wheeler.
"There is no moving forward from or getting over the loss of my sister and there never will be - but we try to live with joy as she would have wanted us to," wrote Wheeler.