Cook County Morgue Allegedly Lost Woman's Body For Over A Year, Family Files Suit (VIDEO)

02/04/2012 04:16 pm ET

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The family of a Chicago woman whose body was found after laying unidentified in a pile of other bodies at the Cook County morgue for over a year, has filed a lawsuit.

Carmelita Johnson, an Englewood resident, went missing in January 2010 and was found three months later in the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office -- but nobody knew it was her, so it remained there, unidentified for some 14 additional months, the family claims.

"We could have had some answers. Now we are just left with a broken heart and unanswered questions," Jackson said, according to NBC.

The family, ABC Chicago reports, is calling for Cook County Medical Examiner Dr. Nancy Jones to step down from her post as a result of her office's alleged negligence. They say they want justice to be served for their struggle, as well as the struggles of the families impacted by other allegations of misconduct made against the morgue in recent weeks.

Further details of the lawsuit were not currently available.

Prior to Johnson's disappearance, her family had reportedly feared for her safety because she was involved in a turbulent relationship with a man. Her body was found in April 2010 on a South Shore beach.

Late last month, Cook County Toni Preckwinkle announced an imminent "overhaul" of the county morgue, which has come under fire for recent reports of bodies being piled up unceremoniously and other "horrendous conditions." Preckwinkle's mandates include limitations in the amount of time bodies can be housed at the morgue, as well as "progressive disciplinary measures" for employees whose job performance is not measuring up.

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