Who will lead Justice Coalition after director's death?

Organization announces search following death of Michael Liles

By Kristen Cosby - Reporter

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The Justice Coalition, a Jacksonville victims' advocate organization, announced Monday it's searching for a new executive director after the death of its previous leader.

Michael Liles was found dead in his home of natural causes on Oct.16, authorities said. He was the second person to lead the organization after his wife, Debbie, was found brutally murdered in their Panama Park home in 2017. Both were 62-years-old.

Before Liles, Ann Duggar was the executive director of the program for 20 years and stepped down in 2016. The coalition she and Liles led has helped people like Frances Futrill, whose 35-year-old daughter, Mary Petersen, was found murdered in her bed.

Her two children made the horrific discovery in 2002.

"She was a good citizen, wonderful mother and a good wife, and the best daughter God could have given me," Futrill said.

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Longing to see her only child again, Futrill said the Justice Coalition has helped her through some of life's greatest hardships.

"I don't know if it saved my life, but it may have saved my sanity," Futrill said. "They're my family and I love them."

Robert Bracewell, the man heading the search for the Justice Coalition's next executive director, said the group wants its next leader to have traits similar to Liles.

"We want somebody as, like Mike, has passion for the organization and the victims," Bracewell said.

Futrill's daughter's killer hasn't been caught. She said the group's next leader is filling big shoes.

"With his (Liles') personality, with his grit, fighting for the victim with every beat of his heart," Futrill said. "Be for the victim 100 percent."

According to Bracewell, the Justice Coalition also hopes to find a new building for its headquarters and a new victim's advocate. Talks have begun with city leaders about the organization becoming a division of the government's victim's advocate program, but a decision has not been made.

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